Guwahati, Saturday, April 18, 2009
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CITY

Auto emission tests to be costlier from next month
Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, April 17 – Auto emission tests will be costlier from May onwards, with the Greater Guwahati Auto Emission Testing Association set to introduce new rates as per norms of the West Bengal Government following a directive to the effect by the Assam Government.

The testing centres will be installing new/upgraded computerized automobile pollution testing equipment by May 4 so that checking of vehicular pollution could be done with the new machinery from that day onwards. Those who fail to install the new machinery within the stipulated time will keep their centres closed till installation of the same, association president HK Goswami said.

The new rates would be – Rs 80 for two-wheelers and Rs 100 for four-wheelers. The old rates were Rs 20 (two-wheeler), Rs 40 (four-wheeler) and Rs 65 (diesel four-wheeler).

The association had also submitted a memorandum to the State Transport Commissioner, seeking an extension of the deadline for installation of new/upgraded equipment to May 4 from March 31. “The new rates – as per the Assam Government’s instruction vide letter No. CST/MV/24/99/pt-III/3063-62 dated Guwahati March 13, 2008 — are in consonance with the norms and terms and conditions approved by the West Bengal Government, till the Assam Government announces its new rates,” Goswami said, adding that the new rates would not be inclusive of government dues which would be collected as per official guidelines.

Auto emission tests were introduced in the city in 2001 but the response till date has been rather lukewarm, with some 70 per cent of the city’s private vehicles and 30 per cent of the commercial vehicles refraining from pollution check.

“About 30 per cent and 70 per cent of the city’s private and commercial vehicles respectively have gone for pollution testing. Then, irregularity has been another concern, with many owners having got their vehicles tested only once,” Goswami said, adding that State government vehicles were the worst offenders with almost zero per cent pollution registration.

Advocating greater publicity and stricter implementation by the administration, Goswami said that vehicular pollution had assumed serious proportions in Guwahati, and unless checked, would lead to disturbing fallouts. The association also called for making the ‘pollution under control certificate’ (PUCC) mandatory for government vehicles.