Licences of 10 emission testing centres cancelled

New mechanism feeds testing data in real time to the dept website

Licences of 10 emission testing centres cancelled

The Transport department claims to have cancelled the licences of 10 emission testing centres that were issuing fake certificates for the last one year.

The discourse came a day after half a dozen such centres were found to be making money by issuing PUC (Pollution Under Control) certificates based on fake numbers. The department has also penalised about 76 centres with faulty equipment in the City.

The City has 301 emission testing centres and the rest of the State has about 600 centres. Officials say that no specific mechanism is in place to detect vehicles with fake certificates. They are detected only during enforcement drives.

The department has started a new mechanism to verify the operations of emission testing centres. Maruthi Sambrani, Joint Commissioner (Environment and e-governance), Transport department, said: “When a vehicle comes in for an emission test at any testing centre, the data will be collected real-time on the department's portal, www.karnatakapuc.nic.in. The results of the test are sent via SMS to the vehicle owner, whose mobile number will be collected as a mandate. If the vehicle owner does not receive the SMS, it is an indication that the emission testing centre is fake or that it does not have the right kind of equipment.”

However, the problem is that many vehicle owners would deliberately want to get fake certificates for reasons such as not having proper documents. It suits them to get the certificate at a price. Officials say that from April 2014 to March 2015, there were 9,818 cases of air pollution. Thousands of vehicles may still be plying without a PUC or fake a certificate, polluting the environment.

About the modus operandi, the transport department official said that centres issuing fake certificates usually copy the reading of some other vehicle on to a new certificate and issue it to the customer. 

The customer would in turn oblige them with double the money for a fake certificate. The fake certificate thus issued will claim that the vehicle’s emission is within permitted levels.

Though all the centres use a software provided by the government which are coded and monitored by the department on a real-time basis, there are still possibilities tampering. The emission testing machines have a validity of about five years, but some centres use them beyond the period, leading to faulty readings.

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