No PUCC? In Noida, Rs 50 will give you one for unfit vehicle

  • | Tuesday | 21st November, 2023

NOIDA: What do you do if your cars pollution certificate has lapsed and it fails the emission test?You can buy a metro ticket for Rs 50 and head to work using public transport while the car goes to a service centre. Or, you can pay Rs 50 at some PUC (pollution under control) centres in the city and get a fresh - and original - document valid for one whole year.This correspondent had a first-hand experience.On November 16, he visited a PUC centre near TGIP mall for a certificate for his bike. The operator inserted the testing device into the bikes exhaust pipe and turned on the ignition."The emission levels are high. Your bike cant pass the test," this correspondent was told. "But, there is a way," he added. He suggested that instead of taking the bike to a service centre and spending thousands on the exhaust, a certificate could be issued for an additional Rs 50. This reporter agreed to see how it worked.The testing device still in the pipe, the operator turned off the ignition at one point, then tweaked some figures on his computer screen and out came a certificate. "Here it is, valid for a year," he smiled. Since PUCs are recorded online, this correspondent checked with the police to see if the certificate was authentic. The online record showed it was - till November 15, 2024, just as the PUC operator had promised.Rigging PUCs is not uncommon in the city. Vehicle owners TOI spoke to said there were several PUC centres in the city where certificates could be bought for an extra Rs 50 or Rs 100 if emission levels were not up to the mark.Ironically, this is happening even as drastic measures like restricting BS III and IV vehicles and stopping construction activity have been taken and odd-even is being discussed again to bring down pollution levels in the NCR air shed. But whether the air is foul or fair, the mechanism to check basic emission levels of vehicles is clearly compromised, making a mockery of scientific measures like the graded response action plan (GRAP) that is currently in force in Delhi-NCR. Operators at another PUC centre in Sector 33 this correspondent spoke to also agreed to issue rigged PUCs, but cautioned, "We can manage if the levels are marginally higher. But if smoke is visible from the exhaust, we cant do anything." Transport department data shows Noida has 121 registered PUC centres. Till November 2023, they had issued 4.8 lakh certificates in total. Ghaziabad has over 150 centres.At any of these centres, the fee for a PUC certificate is Rs 55 for two-wheelers and Rs 75 for others. If any vehicle is found without a valid PUC certificate, the owner can be jailed for up to three months or fined Rs 10,000 under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicles Act. The certificates have to be updated after a year.A resident of Sector 77, who drove a 12-year-old Zen till recently, admitted he got a certificate issued by paying Rs 100 extra. "When I visited a PUC centre for a certificate, I was told there was no need to get the vehicle examined for emission levels. He took Rs 100 over and above the fee and issued me a certificate," he said.S Velmurugan, chief scientist at the Central Road Research Institute, said he had been offered a PUC for a bribe too. "Emission from vehicles is a major source of pollution in Delhi-NCR. Some time ago, I visited a PUC centre and was told I did not need to get my vehicle checked for a certificate. But I insisted on a test. Non-compliance of PUC norms is a major cause for concern in NCR as a polluting vehicle generates three times more PM2.5, nitrogen and carbon dioxide than any other vehicle with standard emissions," he added.Regional transport inspector Vinay Kumar said PUC certificates are issued by third parties in UP. "The vendors are issued licences only if they meet standard specifications. They have access to the Vahan 4 software, which generates the certificates. The software cant be tampered with if the vehicles ignition is switched on during testing. In some cases, it appears the vendors use some other vehicles data to issue a PUC certificate," Kumar said.Regional transport officer PK Singh promised to launch an enforcement drive against such PUC centres. "The licence of any centre that is found violating the rules will be cancelled by the government," he added.In April 2017, the erstwhile Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had submitted a report in the Supreme Court on the functioning of PUC centres in NCR. The overall assessment pointed out there were serious concerns over the way emission levels were tested and equipment used for that maintained at the facilities. "Malpractice is evident and noticeable. One of the reasons for this is the way PUC centres are organised. These centres are numerous, small and decentralised with very weak regulatory oversight," it had said.

If You Like This Story, Support NYOOOZ



Your support to NYOOOZ will help us to continue create and publish news for and from smaller cities, which also need equal voice as much as citizens living in bigger cities have through mainstream media organizations.

Stay updated with all the Noida Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Related Articles