Ministry objects to EPCA report on pollution centres

Did not give consent to EPCA report, it informs SC

The government on Thursday raised objection in the Supreme Court over the Environment Pollution Control Authority’s (EPCA) report on assessment of pollution under control (PUC) programme in Delhi-NCR.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways told a Bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta that the EPCA has given certain recommendations in its report and said that these issues were agreed upon by the stakeholders, including the Ministry.

However, the Ministry said it had not given its consent to the report. “I need some time to respond to the report. We had not agreed, yet it is written in the report that we had,” Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Ministry, told the Bench. Mr. Kumar said he would file an affidavit on the issue and the Bench granted him two weeks for the same.

Slew of directions

The Ministry also said that it had complied with the directions given by the apex court on August 10, when it had issued a slew of directions, including non-renewal of insurance policy of vehicles unless the owner provides PUC certificate to insurance firms. It had asked the Ministry to ensure within four weeks that all fuel refilling centres in NCR have a functional PUC centre.

In its fresh report, the EPCA has favoured review and upgradation of PUC norms for pre-BS IV vehicles and upgradation of the test procedure for smoke density of commercial vehicles.

According to the EPCA, it had on September 14 convened a meeting to discuss these recommendations and a draft report was discussed at the meeting and a report filed by it was based on the final consensus. In its 28-page report, the panel said it had analysed the PUC test results for different categories of vehicles in Delhi-NCR submitted by the transport departments in NCR.

“One critical observation was the very poor failure rate of vehicles at PUC centres — on an average not more than 2%were found to have failed the tests. While corruption and poor testing procedures contribute towards poor failure rate, analysis also shows a very wide margin of difference between test results and limit values for large majority of vehicles,” the report said.

The EPCA has also sought directions to the Ministry to develop a protocol for on-board diagnostics (OBD) II integration with PUC programme, which will require checking if the OBD is functioning and specify the type of scanner and computer software to pass or fail a vehicle. OBD is an automotive term which refers to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. OBD II is an improvement over OBD I in both capability and standardisation.

Source:- The Hindu

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