10/07/2024
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“Driving Change: The Crucial Role of PUC Certificates in India’s Pollution Battle”

As the global challenge of air pollution intensifies, densely populated nations like India face severe consequences. In response to this environmental crisis, both central and state governments in India are taking a resolute stance against Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, with a specific focus on diesel-powered transports.

This firm commitment has led major automakers, including industry giant Maruti Suzuki, to shift away from diesel production, emphasising petrol and CNG alternatives.

The Significance of PUC Certificates in the Battle Against Vehicular Pollution

Yet, the regulatory spotlight extends beyond diesel vehicles to include petrol-powered ones. In this context, the Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate has emerged as a pivotal document for both petrol and diesel vehicle operators. Comparable in importance to the vehicle’s RC book and insurance, the PUC certificate plays a critical role in enabling traffic authorities to assess a vehicle’s emission levels during inspections.

In highly affected areas like Delhi, possessing a PUC certificate is now mandatory for motorists. While this requirement exists nationwide, the enforcement in the capital is notably stringent. Recent reports suggest a proposal to increase PUC certification fees, a change not seen since 2011.

The rationale behind this proposal is to underscore the importance of adhering to vehicle emission standards by potentially increasing the certification fee by 80%. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot has acknowledged the ongoing assessment of this proposed fee adjustment. According to the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1989, obtaining a PUC certificate is an annual obligation for BS IV vehicles, while other vehicles must renew their certificates every three months.

The Impact of Fee Adjustment on Vehicle Owners

The suggested fee adjustment could have significant financial implications for vehicle owners. Currently, the fee in Delhi is Rs. 60 for two-wheelers, Rs. 80 for petrol four-wheelers, and Rs. 100 for diesel four-wheelers, excluding an additional 18% GST. Non-compliance is met with severe penalties, including fines up to Rs. 10,000 or six months of imprisonment for operating vehicles without a PUC certificate.

The Crisis of Non-Compliance

Despite clear regulations and penalties, non-compliance remains rampant. Shockingly, reports indicate that 85% of two-wheelers in Delhi operate without a PUC certificate. Among the 97 lakh vehicles registered in the city, comprising 27.8 lakh cars and 69.8 lakh two-wheelers, approximately 22 lakh vehicles are certificate-free, posing a substantial challenge to pollution control efforts.

Conclusion: PUC Certificates as Cornerstones in India’s Pollution Fight

In conclusion, the PUC certification stands as a cornerstone in India’s battle against vehicular pollution. As the nation’s capital and others strive to reduce their environmental impact, ensuring every vehicle adheres to emission norms is imperative. Every vehicle owner must recognize the gravity of this requirementโ€”the PUC certificate is not a mere formality but a crucial legal and environmental obligation.

While the proposed fee increase is under consideration, the overarching message is clear: pollution control is indispensable, and every citizen must play their part in this collective effort for cleaner air. As engines start and wheels roll, let’s not overlook the invisible yet crucial document that serves as a guardian of our urban atmosphereโ€”the PUC certificate.

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