Srinagar ‘choking’ as number of vehicles mounts rapidly

Srinagar: With the mounting number of registered vehicles, the State’s summer capital is turning into a suffocating place as the officials here have admitted the rising trend in the air pollution.

Sources in the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) as per a local news gathering agency said that there has been a rising trend in the air pollution of the summer capital, mainly because of the vehicular emission.

The mounting number of registered vehicles has risen up to around 3. 50 lac, officials said and added that around one lack vehicles have been registered during this year alone.

He said that there is also a big chunk of the registered vehicles that are known as major air polluters due to poor emission standards.

Concerned over the increasing level of air pollution, experts suggest that government should come forward to bar all vehicles including private cars, bikes, commercial vehicles, buses and trucks – over 15 years old from plying in the state.

They said that lakhs of vehicles are plying without the mandatory ‘pollution under control’ certificates.

Experts said that with the number of vehicles increasing with each passing day, the number of accidents is also mounting every year.

“There are various reasons for the increase in number of vehicles in the city. Change in life style, increase in income, availability of easy bank loans and increase in population were among the main reasons. There is no provision in law under which we could deny the permission for purchase of the new vehicle to a person or persons,” the official in transport department said on condition of anonymity.

Notably, the SPB report has cited vehicular emission as one of the major contributing factors to the rising pollution levels, while suggesting enforcement of a ban on worn-out and unfit vehicles, besides exploring the possibility of alternative modes of public and private transport.

One of the expert in transport department said that pollution under Control Certificate is just a formality for vehicle owners and authorities. “Road Transport Department has a bigger, more serious role to play in controlling vehicular pollution. Even the vehicles that do possess a valid PUC certificate have been seen emitting horrifying black clouds. I fail to understand how these are given an OK,” he maintained.

The High Court has banned all diesel vehicles older than 25 year to ply on roads. “This is perhaps the only state where we allow 25 year old vehicles to ply on roads. In other states, 15 year old vehicles are banned from plying. High Court needs to revisit its decision, “said one of the citizens here.

It is also pertinent to mention here that recently the Pollution Control Board (PCB) had informed the High Court that the air and noise pollution levels of Srinagar city are beyond permissible limits.

“It is clear that the pollution in city on all places is beyond permissible limits. It is more surprising that the Chairman PCB as per the report is now asking for inputs, from all the stake holders with regard to medicate the degradation in air quality”, Division Bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey had recorded and directed the Chairman PCB to submit a report indicating the plan of action and the action taken before next date of hearing on these issues.



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