Two-stroke engines, older vehicles come under scanner

It’s a race against time to convince the National Green Tribunal that the city has indeed taken steps to contain air pollution.

After the State government, among other governments, sought time to submit an action taken report, NGT on March 1 firmly stated that the reports “should be” filed by March 12.

The government believes it has implemented sufficient measures, barring two: banning of two-stroke vehicles as well as prohibiting vehicles older than 15 years to ply in the city. Two-stroke engines are far more polluting, consume more fuel and an estimated 30 per cent of the exhaust fume is un-burnt fuel; while 15-year-old vehicles tend to process fuel inefficiently, leading to higher pollution.

“We have taken sufficient steps to control air pollution, and have given directions to transport, police and civic authorities on ways to reduce pollution,” said Ramachandra, Secretary to government (Environment and Ecology).

Need legislation

Rame Gowda, Transport Commissioner, said a ban on two-stroke vehicles — which are primarily autorickshaws, and older motorcycles and scooters — was not needed as the department had stopped registration of new two-stroke vehicles since 2010. “It will fade out. Moreover, the Transport Department has been providing subsidy to scrap old two-stroke autos for newer four-stroke ones,” he said.

However, though the government had said that there were over 30,000 older autos, subsidy was given to just 63 last year, while another 120 may be given this year. Yearly, the department gets just around Rs. 22 lakh to phase out the polluting engines.

To ban older vehicles, Mr. Gowda said an amendment to the federal Motor Vehicles Act is needed. “The proposal had been taken to the Supreme Court. It is up to the Union government to mandate it because we cannot implement it without legal backing,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 1:18:49 AM |

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