As per the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, on completing a year after buying a new vehicle, the owner should obtain a PUC certificate and renew it after every six months thereafter. The rule mandates vehicle users to carry PUC certificates along the registration documents at the wheel.
Accordingly, the State Transport Department authorised 284 emission testing centers under Tamil Nadu Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. It directs vehicle owners to produce PUCs during every transaction with the RTOs. In 2016-17, the number of cases registered under the smoking certificate is 44,847 and while 8,016 cases were registered in Chennai North Region, only 575 cases were registered in Chennai South Region during that period.
However, there have been doubts over its enforcement with the recent report of Center for Science and Development (CSE) titled ‘The Urban Commute and how it contributes to Pollution and Energy Consumption’ as the report divulges that the city generates a total particulate emission load of over 900 kg per day from urban commuting. The city is ranked second among the 14 mega cities and closely follows the national capital with respect to emission levels.
The report also mentions that vehicles in megacities of Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad (in that order) emit the most CO2.
Commenting on this, the project coordinator of Chennai City Connect, Daniel Robinson, said, “There is no doubt that enforcement agencies are doing enough to curb air pollution in the city. We require a system where citizens proactively participate and take up necessary measures to improve air quality condition. The situation is likely to improve when the BSE VI is implemented along with phasing out of old vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, from the city roads.”
A Regional Transport Officer attached to Ayanavaram, said, “The cancellation of fitness certificates of the vehicles due to excess smoke is still in practice. The personnel instruct public to produce PUCs even while handling cases related to transfer of certificates and residential addresses etc. The authorities levy a fine of Rs 250 for two-wheeler users and Rs 500 in the case of four-wheelers”.