A traffic policeman checks pollution paper of auto-rickshaws during the drive in Sakchi on Thursday. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
Smoke-belching auto-rickshaws faced the heat on Jamshedpur roads on Thursday with the traffic police starting a surprise check of pollution certificates.
Over 350 three-wheelers had to cough up on-spot fines of Rs 1,000 each during the crackdown that was simultaneously carried out at Sakchi, Bistupur, Jugsalai and Golmuri for over three hours from 11am. In Bistupur, the personnel swung into action near Traffic Signal Post on Bistupur Main Road and also in front of the gates of Sakchi and Jugsalai police stations and Golmuri roundabout.
Acting on directives from deputy superintendent of police (traffic) Rakesh Mohan Sinha, the teams checked whether the drivers had a valid Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC). They were slapped a penalty of Rs 1,000 if they failed to show the crucial document.
In the steel city, Nag Motors Training Institute, Sakchi, issues PUCCs through a computerised checking system in keeping with the country’s vehicle emission norms.
“The city has over 20,000 autos, but most of these three-wheelers don’t have PUCC certificates, which have to be obtained from the pollution checking vendor at Sakchi once in every six months. I have issued a letter clearly stating that auto drivers who fail to produce a valid PUCC will have to pay Rs 1,000 as fine,” Sinha said.
He pointed out the action was the need of the hour, especially during monsoon when the pollution level is high.
“The PUCC checking drive was aimed at keeping the pollution level at a bare minimum. We began with autos as they top the list when it comes to belching poisonous fumes,” the traffic DSP added.
The crackdown teams targeted three-wheelers found emitting thick black smoke while plying on the roads. The traffic policeman at the checking point first waved down an auto and if it didn’t halt, another policeman, who stood a little distance away, stopped it forcibly.
Many of the autos had passengers on board, including schoolchildren.
The drive will continue till next week.
According to Abhishek Nag, director of Nag Motors Training Institute, the smoke density in case of diesel-run autos should not cross 65 HSU (Hartridge Smoke Unit) while for petrol autos, the carbon monoxide level should not be more than 1.5 per cent.