Karnataka

One in 20 vehicles in Bengaluru found polluting

Crackdown: Mobile checking vans have increased the detection of polluting vehicles in Bengaluru.  

If the recent anti-vehicular pollution drives are any indication, nearly two in 10 vehicles plying on the city’s streets are emitting gases far exceeding the norms.

It has been four months since the deployment of eight mobile emission-testing vans by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) across the city. Of the 9,284 vehicles checked for vehicle emission norms, 1,799 — or nearly, 20% of the vehicles inspected — were found to have flouted them. However, this figure becomes disconcertingly high among diesel vehicles inspected. More than 30% of the 2,647 diesel vehicles checked were found to have failed the on-the-spot emission check, as compared with 15.12% of petrol vehicles that were found with emissions greater than the national standards.

According to Transport Department officials, many of these violators, particularly petrol vehicles, did not have emission certificate at all. “With transport vehicles (yellow board), since they get checked at many spots, they have certificates. But on-the-spot testing shows them to be fake,” said an official.

It is not just an immediate crackdown that the KSPCB is looking for. KSPCB chairman Lakshman hoped that once 25,000 vehicles were tested, a policy could be evolved. “We are starting to get an idea of what type of vehicles are not meeting emission standards. When this is known, we can either target them during checking or get the government to impose certain restrictions on them,” he said.

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Containing vehicular pollution is critical in a city where pollution levels rise by more than 20% every five years. Vehicular emissions cause more than 42% of respirable suspended particulate matter, and more than two-thirds of the nitrous dioxide emissions.

While the mobile checking vans have increased the detection of polluting vehicles — for, the Transport Department had managed to penalise just 3% of all vehicles checked in the preceding years based on emission certificates — officials say the testing system is not enough to make a dent in the 67-lakh-strong vehicular population in the city.

“Even the current vehicles are not optimally utilised as there is a shortage of RTO staff to man them and book violations,” said an official from the Transport Department.

Acknowledging this as a problem, Mr. Lakshman said Transport and Police departments had been asked to depute officials so that checks are regularly done across the city.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 6:37:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/one-in-20-vehicles-in-bengaluru-found-polluting/article17532746.ece

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