Regular-article-logo Thursday, 28 September 2023

Fume test centres too few, Rs 10000 fine looms in Ranchi

Capital vehicle owners face bumpy road to pollution tag

Our Correspondent Ranchi Published 09.09.19, 07:54 PM
Government vehicles, which don’t have pollution and insurance documents, in Ranchi on Sunday

Government vehicles, which don’t have pollution and insurance documents, in Ranchi on Sunday (Manob Chowdhary)

The capital has only 35 pollution testing centres for 9.5 lakh vehicles registered under Ranchi district transport department at a time pollution-under-control (PUC) certificates for vehicles are a must to avoid being fined Rs 10,000 under the new provisions of the amended Motor Vehicles Act.

This means one centre for almost 30,000 vehicles.


People, especially those with more than one vehicle in the family, are a worried lot.

Pankaj Kumar, a shopkeeper at Kanke Road, said his family has three vehicles but only one has a PUC. “It’s not because I don’t want to but there are too few pollution testing centres,” he said. “There’s a huge rush at every PUC centre. The government should increase the number of testing units because people are suffering unnecessarily.”

In November 2018, the transport department had issued a directive to all 82 petrol pumps of the capital as well as oil companies to set-up pollution testing centres latest by December 1 that year, adding that if not, their trade licence would be cancelled.

The transport department’s order had come in the light of a Supreme Court’s order issued in the MC Mehta versus Union of India case under which the establishment of PUC certification centre was made mandatory.

Jharkhand Petroleum Dealers’ Association initially had protested against the decision, but had ultimately caved in. Some petrol bunks had set up PUC centres. Almost all had applied to set up PUC centres but most are pending, said South Chhotanagpur Petroleum Dealers’ Association joint secretary Niraj Bhattacharya.

“The government wants the people to follow the rules without providing them with any infrastructure support. I think after last year’s directive almost all the petrol pumps here had applied to set up PUC centres but their applications are still pending with the transport department. It’s high time the government expedites the process,” Bhattacharya said.

Bhattacharya also added that certain terms and conditions were hard on petrol pump owners who wanted to set up the centres.

“The rule says each PUC centre’s technical head must be a BTech in mechanical engineering. That’s tough. Not all pump owners can afford to employ a BTech degree holder at a PUC centre. It will be better if the government allows us to hire diploma engineers,” he said.

Other petrol bunk owners said they had applied months ago but nothing moved forward.

Vinod Ranjan; owner of Shubham Shilpi petrol pump on Ranchi-Ormanjhi Road, said that on December 17, 2018, he had applied for setting up a PUC centre. “On May 27 this year, I received a letter from the transport department that more documents were needed. The very next day I submitted them. Since then, I regularly visit the department but nobody gives clear reply (on the status of the application),” said Ranjan. Gautam Ghosh, owner of Friends’ Automobile near Kantatoli, agreed with Ranjan, saying he was facing a similar situation.

The owner of a petrol pump who did not want his name quoted said an inspection team of the transport department had visited his petrol pump for site verification. “The department’s report pointed out that technical head of the proposed PUC was not to be seen. Tell me, how can I hire staff in advance? I have already purchased testing equipment worth Rs 3.5 lakh.”

Ranchi district transport officer Sanjeev Kumar said licences to set up the PUC centres had already been awarded to around 30 petrol pumps. “The process for the rest is on. The department has no intention to delay things. Necessary verification work is on,” he said.

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