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Auto Rickshaw drivers violate PUC norms

Two-stroke engine auto polluting Bangalore air (Image Source: The Hindu)

By Pramita Sarkar
Bangalore, September 22, 2016: The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has seized 34 two-stroke engine autos in August for violating the Pollution Under Control (PUC) norms and failing the vehicle fitness test.

The black autos (old models) with two stroke engines emit black smoke and continue to ply across the city. Thirty four old black autos have been seized for failing the vehicle fitness test in August.

A report by the Shantinagar (Head Office) RTO states that out of 5246 checked autos, two-stroke and four-stroke, 172 have been booked and a total fine collected was Rs 78,010 in August. This was higher than in July , when Rs.55,423 was collected.

Norms state that auto-rickshaws need to visit the RTO office once a year for a vehicle fitness test, but that doesn’t always happen.

Raju, auto driver, said “the two-stroke engine model auto rickshaw drivers escape the vehicle fitness test by not going to RTO. They still use the old engine and we changed ours to LPG, which cost us a lot. This is not fair.”

Satish, an auto driver said, “I have a two stroke engine auto which emits black smoke. I cannot afford a four stroke engine auto as it costs more than Rs. 2,00,000.”

Bangalore has 11 RTO offices. “There is a shortage of inspection staff in the RTO’s in Bangalore” said Kuberappa, DTC (Deputy Transport Commissioner) and Senior RTO Indiranagar, East division.

“We have only one inspection staff for this whole office instead of four and only one officer visits from the enforcement department. It’s hard to maintain paperwork being so understaffed.” he added.

Sidharta, mechanical engineer, said “There is no statewide prohibition on the use of high emission two-stroke vessel engines and there is no plan to prohibit them”.

“Two-stroke engines are not used because of their low efficiency and faulty designs, thus creating more pollution. In times of high petrol prices it’s not a good idea to use two-stroke engines as they consume more fuel but are not efficient.” he said.

M. Raja, e-governance officer, RTO headquarters said “we are connecting a special desk with non RTO officers, Joint Commissioner Transport making a special squad to catch them in the act. This is a four member squad and will cover one ward in a day. The checks will be random. “

“This squad prepares the report of the violators and submits it to the RTO of that ward. The paperwork is processed and the RTO issues further action.” adds Kuberappa.

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