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One stop for fuel, fume test

Residents of steel city will no longer have to travel far and queue up for hours for procuring pollution fitness certificates for their vehicles.

A number of petrol outlets in Jamshedpur will soon double up as smoke emission testing centres and provide pollution fitness certificates to two-wheelers and four-wheelers.

At present, only four smoke emission centres conduct such tests in East Singhbhum. These are Nag Motor Training, CT Motors Training Institute, Vijay Automobile and Indira Pandey.

East Singhbhum district transport officer George Kumar said state transport secretary S.S. Meena had directed officials to encourage petrol pump owners to apply for opening emission testing centres. Kumar held a meeting with members of Jamshedpur Petrol Dealers Association on Sunday, informing them of the directive.

“Often, vehicle owners refrain from renewing pollution fitness certificates owing to hassles. These vehicles then emit toxic smoke and cause pollution,” he said.

Secretary of the association Rajesh Singh welcomed the decision.

“Besides adding to our income, the move will offer respite to vehicle owners,” said Singh.

Out of these, Vijay Automobile and Indira Pandey are petrol pumps.

While heavy vehicles are charged Rs 100 for emission test certificates, owners of four wheelers and two wheelers have to cough up Rs 60 and Rs 30 respectively. These certificates need to be renewed every six months.

In order to open an emission-testing centre, the owner of a petrol pump will need to apply to the state joint transport commissioner. The commissioner will then ask the motor vehicle inspector of East Singhbhum to conduct a survey of the site of the outlet and on the basis of his report, the administration will provide an authorisation letter to the petrol pump concerned for issuing emission test certificates.

To run an emission-testing centre, a petrol retailer will have to install a computer with webcam to capture the registration number of a car or bike brought in to be tested. The image will be attached to the certificate as an added verification that the vehicle was tested. The transport department will also maintain a record in its database to minimise chances of deception. The outlets doubling up as test centres will also have separate smoke meters for petrol and diesel vehicles.

Traffic on the steel city streets is mushrooming over the last few years. Official records suggest that nearly 30.000 two-wheelers and 5,000 cars and commercial vehicles are adding up annually for the last eight years.

According to state pollution control level, Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter in the city ranges between 190µg/m3 and 200µg/m3, way above the 100µg/m3 limit specified for residential areas under national ambient air quality standards.