Delhi happens to be the world’s most polluted capital, with air quality so poor, it is even said to cause cancer. Luckily, authorities may have found a way to keep emissions in check by raising the stakes for anyone caught polluting the environment with their vehicles. Under the recently imposed Motor Vehicles Act 2019, the penalty for not getting a ‘Pollution Under Control’ (PUC) certificate has gone up from Rs 1,000 for a first offence and Rs 2,000 for the second offence to Rs 10,000.
And now that a man has been fined for Rs 23,000 for not carrying certain documents and cops have been given body cameras to curb the bribing that’s ingrained in our system, people are concerned enough to realise that shit can go down if they’re not careful.
So, between September 1 to 3, more than 1.25 lakh vehicles in Delhi showed up to get their PUC certificates, with more than 84,000 such certificates already being issued. This is around three times the usual number of people going for PUC tests.
"It seems that the enhanced amount of penalty has instilled the fear of the law in people. Earlier, they avoided the test even after expiry of the certificates as the fine amount was less," an official told PTI.
A PUC test checks vehicles for emissions of smoke, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other air pollutants to reduce the damage that vehicles do to the environment. While PUC certificates are supposed to be mandatorily renewed every three months, only 10,000-12,000 vehicles would show up every day, a number that has now gone up to 35,000 to 40,000. While this is a positive thing, it has also hit authorities with unexpected logistical issues such as overly long queues and technical blips like server problems.
Still, it’s for the best that at least the fear of having to pay more from their own pocket is enough to drive people to do the right thing.
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