Delhi residents will not get petrol or diesel at fuel stations from October 25 if they do not show valid pollution under control certificates for their vehicles, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Sunday, PTI reported.
Pollution under control certificate, or PUC, indicates that a vehicle’s emissions are in alignment with pollution norms and are not harmful to the environment.
On Sunday, Rai said that vehicular emissions were one of the causes of the rising pollution in Delhi.
“It is imperative to reduce it so it has been decided that from October 25 petrol, diesel will not be provided at petrol pumps without [a] PUC certificate of the vehicle,” Rai said at a press conference. A notification about the rule will be out as soon as the modalities of the plan are worked out, he added.
More than 17 lakh vehicles in the national capital do not have pollution under control certificates, according to the Delhi Transport Department. A vehicle owner may face a fine of up to Rs 10,000 in absence of the certificate.
Pollution is a major problem in Delhi during winter. Along with smoke emitting from vehicles, the national capital’s air quality drops because of lower temperatures, wind speeds, industrial pollution, and the burning of paddy harvest in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
It also deteriorates during Diwali because of firecrackers. To curb this situation, the Delhi government has banned the production, storage, sale and use of firecrackers in the capital till January 1, 2023.
On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a 15-point Winter Action Plan to curb air pollution. It involves installing more anti-smog guns in the city and providing farmers with bio-decomposer sprays as an alternate solution to burning their fields.
Rai, on Sunday, said that the government will launch a 24x7 war room on October 3 to ensure effective implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan – a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the national capital.
Under the revised Graded Rersponse Aaction Plan, curbs can be imposed on polluting activities for up to three days in advance based on forecasts.
Earlier, the authorities would implement the measures only after the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 became excessive. This time, restrictions will be based on air quality index values.