Taking cue from European countries and North America, the Centre in order to curb pollution caused by vehicular emissions in various cities has proposed to reduce the time for fitness testing period from 15 years to five in case of private vehicles and from five to either two or three years for renewal of the 15 year-old private vehicles. The government, however, declined to propose to mandate the age limit of private vehicles, saying, “It is a short-cut approach, rather there should be frequent fitness test of private vehicles, which will prove whether the vehicle has reached its end or not.” Filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court, environmentalist MC Mehta’s PIL, the Union ministry of Road Transport and Highways said the Ministry would consider 15 years period as the end of life of a commercial vehicle. “Certificate of fitness of vehicles as per section 56 of the Motor Vehicle Act should be implemented with regular checks. This will not only reduce the pollution but also improve the road safety scenario of such vehicles,” the government said adding that for regular checks more number of authorised centres are required to be set up.It also referred to the Petroleum ministry’s policy timeline that have been given for mandating availability of fuels as per Euro IV and V norms. “Presently on the basis of availability of fuel, the country continues to use Bharat stage-III and IV vehicles across the country. Upgrading the Bharat stage from II to IV and IV to V and there on is the permanent solution for controlling pollution due to exhaust gases from vehicles. This is dependent on the availability of automobile fuels,” the affidavit also said.On December 2, 2014, the National Green Tribunal Chairman Justice Swatantra Kumar had held meeting with the seniors officers of various ministries about the vehicular pollution in major cities including national capital Delhi. Expressing concern over the issue, the NGT in its earlier order has already suggested the government to declare the life of a commercial vehicle as 15 years.The Supreme Court had also urged the Ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to also consider advancing Euro IV and implement measures such as restricting use of private transport through additional charges, limiting use of diesel, augmenting public transport system and making commercial vehicles not destined for Delhi bypass the city.A three-judge green bench, led by Chief Justice of India H L Dattu will hear the matter on January 9.The government’s response came on an application moved by amicus curiae senior advocate Harish Salve who had told the court that pollution levels in Delhi had reached an alarming stage and was increasing unabated. He also stated that ever-growing particulate matter in the air has started causing severe respiratory diseases.

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Centre proposes regular fitness test of private vehicles