India: Government tells auto dealers to set up pollution testing facilities amidst ‘big green push’

By on 10/05/2015

The government of the Indian capital of Delhi has directed all car and motorbike dealers in the city to set up pollution measuring facilities on their premises, the Economic Times reports today.

All automobile dealers, except those who sell battery-operated e-rickshaws, have been asked to come up with pollution checking centres at their workshops so that these may issue Pollution Under Control certificates for vehicles.

A senior government official told the Economic Times that “the government wants to ensure that when motorists go to automobile workshops to service their vehicles, they can also get a check done there of the emission level.”

The move comes after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) – the country’s special court for environmental cases – put a ban on all petrol vehicles more than 15 years old and any diesel vehicles more than 10 years old.

It also followed an order the NGT made on 6 May enforcing high congestion charges for motorists driving diesel vehicles on the a route in the north of the country, although it exempted local taxi operators from the rule for the next three months.

The Asian Age reports today that Delhi’s government is planning a “big push” on green energy.

“To encourage consumption of clean and renewable energy in the national capital,” it adds, “Delhi’s government is planning to promote the usage of energy from such sources and will urge citizens to install ‘net meters’ at their residence places and business enterprises.”

A senior government official told Asian Age that “the administration is planning to promote clean energy initiatives and fund research in the area” and that “Delhi has a massive potential to produce power from alternative sources, and we are keen on tapping that potential.”

A report by environmental campaign group Greenpeace India and solar panel company Bridge to India had stated that Delhi has the potential to generate 2,557 MW of solar power using only 1.6 per cent of the city’s roof space, it says.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has said it may be forced to shut down in India in a month because the government has frozen its bank accounts.

The pressure group said it had only about 30 days’ worth of funds with which to pay office costs and salaries.

India blocked the group’s accounts last month, accusing it of violating tax laws and working against its economic interests.

Greenpeace claims the restrictions are an “attempt to silence criticism”.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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