Govt plans steps for vehicle scan

The state government is working on ways to regulate the entry of non-BS IV vehicles into Howrah and Calcutta after being pulled up by the National Green Tribunal for its failure to do so.

By Kinsuk Basu
  • Published 26.04.18
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A polluting vehicle plies down a city road

Nabanna: The state government is working on ways to regulate the entry of non-BS IV vehicles into Howrah and Calcutta after being pulled up by the National Green Tribunal for its failure to do so.

The transport department has called a meeting on Thursday with the director general of police, police commissioners of Howrah, Calcutta and Barrackpore and representatives of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to discuss ways to curb the entry of non-BS IV vehicles into the two cities on either side of the Hooghly.

There is no mechanism now to check the entry of such vehicles.

Bharat Stage or BS standards are emission standards set by the central government to regulate vehicular pollution. BS IV, introduced in 2010, are the latest in the series, spelling out the toughest norms so far on exhaust fumes of vehicles, the biggest contributor to air pollution in Calcutta.

A Supreme Court ban on the sale and registration of BS III vehicles has been in force since April 2017.

This is the first time the government is initiating a process to regulate the entry of non-BS IV vehicles into the two cities.

"The eastern zonal bench of the tribunal had in 2016 ordered the transport department and the police to collaborate to regulate the entry of non-BS IV vehicles into Calcutta and Howrah. We now want to start the process," an official in the home department said.

The NGT order states: "...the department of transport in collaboration with state police shall ensure that such (non-BS IV) vehicles enter the cities (Calcutta and Howrah) only on production of the PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificate and on payment of a prescribed fee."

The order further states that the "date of entry and exit... be monitored by adopting measures to share information among check-posts set up at entry points."

Any non-BS IV vehicle entering Calcutta or Howrah has to leave within seven days.

Officials said nothing had been done to implement the order as the government was yet to decide who would fix the entry fee and where the checkpoints would be set up and who would man them.

Studies over the years have shown that the air pollution level in Calcutta shoots up at night because of a jump in the number of goods vehicles entering the city.

A 2017 finding by the US consulate's automatic air-pollution monitoring station in Calcutta, released on November 30, had shown that the air quality index (AQI) climbed beyond 400 at least four times in hourly readings between 9pm on November 28 and 8pm on November 29. The average in those 24 hours was just above 300.

The monitoring station atop the US embassy in Chanakyapuri, Delhi, had an average AQI of around 287 during the same period.