New Delhi: Vehicle owners will not be provided fuel at petrol pumps in Delhi without showing valid pollution under control certificate from October 25, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Saturday.
The decision was taken at a meeting of officials from environment, transport, and traffic departments on September 29 during which modalities and implementation of the plan were discussed, he said.
“Vehicular emission is one of the key contributors to rising pollution in Delhi. It is imperative to reduce it so it has been decided that from October 25, petrol, diesel will not be provided at petrol pumps without the PUC certificate of the vehicle,” Rai said in a press conference here.
He said a notification in this regard will also be issued soon and the modalities of the plan will become clear in a week’s time.
According to the Delhi Transport Department, over 17 lakh vehicles, including 13 lakh two-wheelers and three lakh cars, were plying without valid PUC certificates till July 2022.
If caught without a valid PUC certificate, vehicle owners may face imprisonment up to six months or fine up to Rs 10,000 or both as per the Motor Vehicles Act.
The minister said all government departments have also been advised to get PUC certificates of their vehicles checked.
“On March 3, 2022, we issued a public notice inviting suggestions on the implementation of the move ‘No PUC, No fuel’.
“On May 2, suggestions were received and many people were in favour of the implementation of this move. So, the government is preparing to implement it from October 25,” Rai told reporters.
He also said the Delhi government will launch its 24×7 war room on October 3 to combat pollution and ensure effective and serious implementation of the winter action plan and the amended Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) — a set of anti-air pollution measures followed in the capital and its vicinity according to the severity of the situation.
Under the revised GRAP, curbs can be imposed on polluting activities for up to three days in advance based on forecasts.
Earlier, authorities would implement the measures only after the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 touched a particular threshold.
This time, restrictions will be based on Air Quality Index (AQI) values rather than PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations.
In Delhi, a 15-point action plan has been prepared against pollution, which will be implemented with strictness, and all departments have been directed to remain prepared on alert mode for the same, the minister said.
Rai said an anti-dust campaign will also be launched in Delhi from October 6 and surprise inspections will be conducted at construction sites to check dust pollution.
He said construction sites bigger than 5,000 sqm will have to deploy one anti-smog gun, those bigger than 10,000 sqm should have two such guns and sites bigger than 20,000 sqm will have to engage four anti-smog guns to combat dust pollution.
“If these measures are not followed by companies at construction sites, then strict action will be taken against them under the anti-dust campaign,” Rai said. The minister also called for a joint action plan for all NCR states to combat pollution. Citing a CSE’s report published last year, Rai said only 31 per cent of Delhi’s pollution has emerged from sources within the city and the remaining NCR areas contribute towards 69 per cent of capital’s pollution.
Rai appealed to the governments of NCR states to prepare their winter action plan and form special teams for its monitoring and implementation. “NCR states’ winter action plan should keep in mind the needs and security of those areas. They should create a regional task force to oversee the implementation of this plan and it should be headquartered in the NCR range,” Rai added.
He said the government will start free spraying of Pusa bio-decomposer from October 10 in agricultural fields to prevent stubble burning in Delhi.