Sushil for old-car ban plan

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the forest and environment portfolio, hinted at banning plying of vehicles that are over 15 years old.

By Dipak Mishra in Patna
  • Published 10.05.18
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Patna: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who also holds the forest and environment portfolio, hinted at banning plying of vehicles that are over 15 years old.

"At present we cannot ban their plying because it comes under the Motor Vehicle Act, which is a central law," Sushil said at a function organised by the Centre for Environment, Energy and Climate Change (CEECC) on air pollution on Wednesday. "But we will urge the central government to give us the power to ban plying of such vehicles. At present we can only make plying of such vehicles more difficult by framing more stringent rules."

He identified vehicle emission as one of the major reasons for poor air quality in Bihar.

He pointed out that Patna had stopped giving fresh licences to three-wheelers.

"But there are several cases in which auto licences are taken for rural areas while they are run in Patna. The number of autos run in thousands. We have asked the transport department to check the use of such three-wheelers that are running without valid licence in Patna," Sushil said while stressing that he had held two meetings to improve air quality in Patna over the past week.

The deputy chief minister also pointed outwards Pollution Under Control (PUC) outlets in Patna.

"We found that many of these machines were non-functional and there were streets where these vehicles cannot enter. Most of these outlets have been given pollution clearance vehicles without carrying out tests. That has to be rectified and more incentives given to those running the PUC units. Currently, out of Rs 50 that is charged only Rs 15 goes to them. The rest goes to the Pollution Control Board. The PUC unit owners should be given a bigger cut so that they do not issue fake certificates to survive," Sushil said.

He also hinted at setting up PUCs at all fuel pumps.

He said another major contributor to air pollution in Patna were the brick kilns "All brick kilns that have not switched to cleaner technology will be shut down by December," he said.

He also remarked that commercial vehicles ferrying sand have been asked to keep them covered and under construction buildings must be covered with a green cloth.

The minister said his department had decided to plant 10,000 trees in Patna - mostly in the riverine belt created because of the shift in the Ganga river's course.