Auto emission testing machines have to be calibrated every four months by their manufacturers and the calibration certificate uploaded on the road transport ministry’s website, according to a new transport department directive.
State pollution control board officials will validate the calibration of testing machines at auto emission testing centres, according to the order issued on July 11. Apart from this, a motor vehicles inspector will physically verify a testing centre’s location and its facilities before renewing its licence every two years.
The National Green Tribunal has said in multiple orders that vehicular pollution and “re-suspension of road dust” are directly correlated to the amount of particulates in the air in metros. In Calcutta and adjoining areas, the threat is more as most buses plying on roads are either BS-II or BS-III compliant. A handful are BS-IV compliant. “Auto emission con- tributes to 50 to 70 per cent of air pollution in urban areas. In Calcutta, 98 per cent of vehicles in public transport run on diesel,” environment activist Subhas Datta said. Auto emission testing machines primarily check oil temperature and engine RPM (revolution per minute) apart from exhaust gases.
A 2018 study by IIT Kharagpur on auto emission testing centres had shown that the calibration quality of the machines at most testing centres in Calcutta was poor. There’s hardly any synergy among the various sets of data generated by these centres, the study had pointed out.
Regular calibration of machines will minimise the chances of tampering with the original findings when a vehicle turns up for a pollution test, a transport department official said.
“We will increase the validity of the licence of a testing centre from one year to two in view of the regular calibration exercise,” the official said.
“Once a test report has been uploaded on the department’s data monitoring system, there will be almost little or no chance of tampering with it.”.
Source: The Telegraph