Bangalore among top 10 polluted places, govt turns blind eye

Bangalore among top 10 polluted places, govt turns blind eye

Emissions from vehicles prime cause, says green ministry

Bangalore among top 10 polluted places, govt turns blind eye

 Bangalore is among the top 10 polluted cities in the country as found by the Ministry of Environment and the prime cause is the pollution caused by motor vehicles. But, there is no mechanism as such to check the increasing vehicular pollution that is affecting the air quality and health of people in the so-called Garden City.

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), transport department and traffic police say that its not their job to check vehicular pollution. KSPCB Chairman Vaman Acharya admitted that there is no mechanism to check air pollution.

There are only emission test centres where people should get their vehicle compulsorily checked. “It is also the duty of traffic police and transport department to take action,” he added.

“Checking emission level of each vehicle is not our job. We only check ambient air quality. We have issued 20-point directions for vehicle owners and managers which should be compulsorily followed, like no vehicle below Bharat-4 stage is permitted to ply on Bangalore roads,” he added. Acharya was unable to explain why vehicles below BS-4 and polluting private buses and trucks were freely plying on City roads.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B Dayananda said that emission testing and pollution control is the responsibility of the KSPCB. Transport Commissioner Amar Narayan said that the role of the transport department is only to enforce the Motor Vehicles Act and rules.

Earlier, commuters had to inhale a lot of petrol and diesel exhaust smoke at signals, but now because of increasing LPG-fuel vehicles, they complain of inhaling more gaseous substances.

Former Environment Secretary A N Yellappa Reddy said that the KSPCB is required to come up with better and stricter laws to check air pollution at source.

The KSPCB and transport department blame each other and shrug away their responsibility. Even courts have directed pollution control boards to check pollution at the source and take strict action. But that is not happening.

Prof T V Ramachandra from Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc said this blame game will continue as long as people do not recognise their fundamental rights. The KSPCB has to be more active to enforce this norm.

A legalised penalty collection system is also yet to be introduced. Strict norms and a better penalty mechanism are needed, said B Lakshmi, a commuter. “There should be strict action against vehicles emitting smoke, especially privately-owned,” added Rekha, a techie.