Give list of phased-out Commercial Vehicles
Green Tribunal Order Sends State Scurrying For Data; Pollution Continues To Wreak Havoc. The quantum of Commercial Vehicles that have been phased out in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area
The chief secretary has asked the transport department to dig into its files and extract the quantum of Commercial Vehicles that have been phased out in the Kolkata Metropolitan Area as well as the exact count of Commercial Vehicles that are 15 years or older that still continue to ply.
This data is among several that the top ranked state government official has to produce before the National Green Tribunal Appellate bench next month. The bench has slapped a Rs 5 crore pollution fine on the state government for failing to comply with earlier orders on improving the city’s ambient air.
Sources in the transport department said the directive had sent officials scurrying to collate figures that had never been compiled before. In the meeting convened by chief secretary Moloy De, status reports have also been sought from other departments on several other issues, including introduction of green fuel. With no CNG on offer in Kolkata, an overwhelming number of vehicles are powered by diesel, a fuel that is considerably more dirty than CNG. De has to appear before the NGT in person on January 8 and submit an affidavit on measures the state has adopted to mitigate pollution.
Sources said the chief secretary had sought for a clear road-map on what the government was doing in addition to the action taken report.
There are at least six directives that the government has failed to act upon. While the phasing out of old vehicles has been garaged in recent years, there has been no attempt to enforce pollution-under-control (PUC) norms or link fuel purchase to production of PUC certificates. The state has also failed to monitor the PUC certification system or carry out checks on moving vehicles using remote sensing devices.
“Emission is one of the major contributors to air pollution. Hence, the state is keen on introduction of cleaner fuel like CNG as it can replace diesel, which is the dirtiest of fossil fuels. The concerned departments have been asked to work in this direction,” a senior official said.
Sources said Kolkata Police had also been instructed to enforce 100% PUC compliance. Police and motor vehicle inspectors will randomly check vehicles in addition to use of remote sensing technology to identify polluting vehicles that are plying on the road.
At present, only 20% vehicles go in for pollution check while the rest keep polluting.