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Closure rap on emission test hubs

The state pollution control board has directed 11 auto emission testing centres in the city and its fringes to stop issuing “pollution under control” certificates with immediate effect as they were operating with defunct gadgets.

The board has also imposed a pollution cost of Rs 25,000 on each centre.

“Following a high court order, the board had recently inspected a number of testing centres and found 11 of them operating with inadequate infrastructure. We have ordered the centres to stop issuing certificates with immediate effect and asked the transport department to cancel their licences,” environment minister Sailen Sarkar said on Tuesday.

Board chairman P.N. Roy said the centres had also been fined Rs 25,000 each in compliance with the court order.

A board official said web cameras, sensors, four-gas analysers and smoke density meters were some of the gadgets that were non-functional in the 11 centres. “One cannot run a proper tail-pipe emission test without these instruments,” the official added.

“The owners of the centres failed to explain why they were operating with malfunctioning gadgets,” said Biswajit Mukherjee, the board’s chief law officer, who signed the order against the 11 centres.

The high court had in July 2008 ruled that licences of testing centres “found issuing fake certificates” should be suspended for at least two years. The decision to suspend the licence has to be taken by the transport department.

Metro has published a series of reports highlighting how several centres were functioning in violation of rules and issuing fit certificates to polluting vehicles.

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