Over 300 drivers were issued fines by the Transport Department as part of what a senior official described as the “biggest drive” of its kind so far this year against vehicles, which were either visibly causing pollution or did not have mandatory documentation such as Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates.
Objective of drive
The drive, which will continue till Diwali, as stated by a senior Transport Department official, had been launched prior to the festive season and the onset of winter in a bid to positively impact the Capital’s ambient air quality.
This characteristically deteriorates due to several interconnected factors, including residual crop burning in neighbouring States, towards the end of the calendar year.
As many as 311 vehicles were issued challans of amounts ranging between ₹1,000 and ₹2,000 by the Department’s Enforcement Wing till 4 a.m. on Sunday.
As many as 158 of these, as stated by a senior Transport Department official, were slapped fines for visibly causing air pollution, while 153 were prosecuted for not being in possession of valid PUC certificates.
“The Transport Department has begun enforcing the drive keeping in mind the fact that air pollution caused by vehicles emerges as one of the most significant factors affecting air quality in Delhi and the NCR during these months,” said the official.
As many as 40 teams consisting of five to six members of the Enforcement Wing have been placed at strategic locations across the Capital to enforce the drive between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. every day, the official also said.
“Overloaded trucks, which cause more pollution by lugging more tonnage than they are equipped to, shall be impounded in addition to commercial vehicles plying without valid fitness,” the official said further.
While a challan for the first instance of being caught without a valid PUC certificate was ₹1,000, a subsequent offence would lead to a fine of ₹2,000.
As reported by The Hindu on October 3, the number of personnel and vehicles at the disposal of the Wing are gradually being upgraded in a step which has been in the works since March this year. This consolidation in numbers, the official said, was expected to provide a fillip to the anti-pollution drive and lead to a significant rise in the number of fines over the coming days.