The Chennai Traffic Police have acquired 16 new vehicles under a World Bank scheme to check emission levels of motor vehicles in the city.
The move comes in the wake of a high-level meeting convened on Wednesday by Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathi on measures to enhance the ambient air quality, police sources said. Besides police officers, the meeting was attended by senior officials of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and other departments.
On Saturday, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M. Ravi launched a drive against vehicles whose emission levels exceeded the permissible limit. He said the traffic police had registered 36,000 cases of non-compliance to the emission standards in the past six months. Fine varying between Rs.50 and Rs.500 were imposed.
Of the 500-odd vehicles which were checked for emission levels as part of the drive on Saturday, cases were registered against 175 for not conforming to the norms.
Mr. Ravi said vehicles more than a year old should get the pollution under control certificate. The test should be done once every six months. Noting that there are several emission testing centres across Chennai where the pollution levels could be tested, he said the drive to strictly enforce emission levels would continue. MTC buses were being checked at the depots for the emission levels, he added. Appealing to the public to inform the police control room by dialing ‘100' or ‘103' if they come across vehicles emitting thick smoke, Mr. Ravi said firm action, including suspension of driving licence and seizure of vehicles, would be taken against habitual offenders. Traffic police would have a database of the action taken against violators with details of vehicles and it would be easy to detect habitual offenders, he added.
The 16 pollution testing vehicles, procured by the police, would be stationed strategically and conduct random check of vehicles across the city, police sources said.