Third party to scrutinise vehicle emission levels

Transport department moots the online scrutiny idea to check fraud by pollution testing centres in the city.
A view of vehicles emitting smoke in Hyderabad | r satish babu
A view of vehicles emitting smoke in Hyderabad | r satish babu

HYDERABAD:  Most vehicles in the city clear the pollution test with flying colours. It is not just because of the proper maintenance of the vehicles by owners but also due to fraud played by the pollution testing centres. Taking advantage of poor monitoring by the state transport department, many testing centres issue Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates even for vehicles with high emission levels. And these vehicles ply unchecked on the city roads.

To fix these malpractices, the department is now planning to get vehicle emission levels scrutinised online by a third party and issue the certificates accordingly. Efforts are on to get the emission levels data from the centres online and get the same tested by a professional laboratory and then issue the PUC certificates. 
Authorities claim that all this exercise would be completed in 10 minutes and vehicles will get the emission level report at the respective centre itself. “This initiative will be taken in public-private partnership. Already, talks are on with various labs and, hopefully, the project will take off in a month,” said a senior transport official.

There are over 150 computerised pollution testing centres, including 60 mobile centres in the twin cities. Though it is mandatory for testing centres to submit details of the vehicles tested for pollutions to the department, the centres seldom follow the rule. In a bid to curb this menace, the department had taken up a project a couple of years ago to network the centres online and monitor the data. 
But the project is marred with intermittent glitches and perfunctory attitude of the authorities in fixing the snags. 

New system: How will it work?
All the data from each pollution testing centre will be synchronised with the department’s server. When a vehicle arrives at a centre, the emission recordings will be transmitted to the private laboratory via the department’s server. Within minutes, the lab, with its special software, will test the emission levels and issue a report. This will serve two purposes: The correct emission levels will be recorded and the malpractices of testing centres will be curbed.

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