Grounded!

A new rule in Lucknow keeps vehicles off the roads unless certified as pollution-free

 
By Tirtho Banerjee
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

lucknow can now boast of being the first Indian city to implement a sustained anti-pollution 'no-certificate-no-fuel' rule, which came into effect on January 1. Under the directive of the Uttar Pradesh government, it has been made mandatory for all petrol pump owners to sell fuel only to those consumers who possess 'pollution checked' certificates. To supervise their actions, officials of the transport department, ngos and tempo-taxi associations have been deployed.

Some 1,400-odd Vikrams (tempos which operate between short distances and carry passengers) were identified as 'technically unfit' by mobile checking squads and were seized and phased out. The move led Vikram operators to call a 36-hour strike recently. The district administration also came down heavily on Scooters India Ltd (sil) which manufactures Vikrams and penalised the company by slapping a blanket ban on fresh registrations. sil has contended that the fault lies not with their machinery but with the operators who do not maintain their vehicles properly.

The district administration looks fully determined to give more teeth to the anti-pollution drive. It has asked the state government to issue a relevant notification under the Air Pollution (Prevention & Control) Act, 1981, making violation of the rule a criminal offence. The anti-pollution drive will soon take another dimension with the setting up of a control room which will register public grievances against a polluting vehicle on telephone. Also, more mobile squads are to be formed to carry out 'on-the-spot' checking of vehicles. Authorities believe that this drive will gain more intensity and provide respite to the citizens from deadly vehicular fumes.

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