This will help in curbing emissions: SC
In a decision with far-reaching consequences, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed that vehicles without valid pollution under control (PUC) certificates would not be eligible for the annual insurance.
A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta accepted the recommendations of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) for mandatory linking of PUC certificates with annual insurance.
This recommendation was made by the EPCA in its report on assessment of the Pollution Under Control programme in Delhi and the National Capital Region. This report was submitted in the Supreme Court in April this year.
The court passed the order on a petition for stringent steps to curb air pollution.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was a party in the case and had responded positively to the EPCA report.
The court agreed with the EPCA that the linkage between PUC certificates and vehicle insurance would go a long way in ensuring compliance and a subsequent dip in vehicular emission levels.
“This is an important step forward. The EPCA investigation has shown very poor level of compliance with the PUC programme. In Delhi, only 23% of vehicles come for PUC tests. With mandatory linking of annual vehicle insurance with valid PUC certificate, the compliance level can improve significantly — especially as the Supreme Court has directed its enforcement nationwide,” Sunita Narain, director-general, Centre for Science and Environment, said.
The court also directed the linking of PUC centres with an online network and data centres to prevent manual tampering. It asked the State governments to audit PUC centres and set up a strong oversight system to ensure credible tests and emission results.