<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While toxic smog remains one of the biggest concerns in Delhi, a large number of vehicles are flouting pollution under control (PUC) norms. Vehicular emission contributes to 20 per cent of the city’s air pollution.DNA had sought, through an RTI application, PUC-related information for 20014-17. Though the reply hides more than it reveals, it exposes inefficiency of the Delhi government’s transport department. No information was provided for 2014. The reply says records are not available for the year. It, however, admits that of the 1,16,077 vehicles checked during July 1-18 in 2015, only 67, 686 had valid PUC certificates. The reply also admits that 20,729 tickets were issued to vehicles for not having valid PUC certificates from January 1 to September 30 in 2017.Drives against polluting vehicles were intensified only after last November’s toxic smog episode when pollution levels reached alarming levels. This was followed by the formulation of a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to deal with different categories of air pollution.While 13,122 tickets were issued to visibly polluting vehicles in 2016, 33,335 were fined for the same this year (till September 30).The city registered a total of 97.05 lakh vehicles till last year, while there are only 957 pollution checking centres (PCCs).However, an inspection of PCCs done this year (February to August) reveals that action against 353 was taken for various complaints.“We are strengthening PUC norms and testing centres. Also, we are cracking down on vehicles violating norms or not turning up for fitness tests,” an official from the transport department said.The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), a Supreme Court-mandated body to tackle air pollution in Delhi-NCR, found in April that most pollution checking centres did not have upgraded technology or trained staff to get correct readings. Besides, it also found that the rejection rate for vehicles is very less, as PUC norms in the region are weak.EPCA has recommended technological advancements in testing equipment to cut down on vehicular emission.Besides, a number of out-of-state diesel-run buses coming to the city daily have been found to be not having valid PUC certificates.
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