Tuesday, September 27, 2011

About 50 per cent of staff shortage at RTO, vehicles goes unchecked

In addition to this the emission testing equipment kit in RTO is under repair.
Regional Transport Office (RTO) is running short of manpower. As the shortage of staff in city RTO is less than 50 percent, vehicle owners are being asked to get emission test done from private Emission Testing centers. In addition to this the emission testing equipment kit in RTO is under repair and the vehicles which enters city during Dasara will go unchecked.

There is a severe shortage of technicians to operate these machines which comes mounted in a separate vehicle. In addition to dedicated technicians drivers are also required. According to sources the vehicle provided for Emission Test is being used for office works. Meantime, it can be witnessed many three-wheelers and four-wheelers vehicles are emitting thick smoke spoiling the quality of air.

As it was not feasible for the RTOs to conduct emission testing on their own due to the logistics involved, permission was given to private parties to conduct emission tests and issue certificates. The RTOs were equipped with mobile testing vans to verify vehicles suspicious of violating the emission norms.

Regional Transport Officer Siddappa Kallera said that RTO has less than 50 per cent of staff and they are working on the existence staff and can’t comment on the policy matters. As more than 60 per cent of vehicles are presently running on LPG, the pollution levels have come down drastically compared to earlier, he added.

But according to a sample survey conducted by Express visiting various places and collected public opinion, the pollution levels in the city is still high and some vehicle owners of goods tempos, lorries and old autos are using adulterated fuel resulting in pollution. The practice of mixing kerosene with petrol has not completely come down, and sale of adulterated petrol goes on unhindered in some areas and the RTOs cannot check them due to lack of staff and equipments.

When Express contacted a couple of emission testing centers in city, they said `vehicles running on LPG still need lubricating oil, especially the earlier two stroke engines as most of autos in the city are. But they use reconditioned oil that is sold cheaply, resulting in these vehicles emitting more smoke and causing pollution.'

`RTO officials should check vehicular emissions to keep city's pollution under control. As these pollutants are released into the atmosphere, the pollution levels increase', said Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (Mysore) Environmental Officer Dr Niranjan.

Number of vehicles plying in the city is 6,11,904 of which 2,14,927 comes under East RTO and 3,05,340 under West RTO and the remaining 91,637 under Hunsur RTO. Daily around 110 to120 new vehicles are registered in city.

Speaking to Express, Advocate Suma said, `all these emission tests are being done just for the sake of formality as most of the public are unaware for what the readings actually mean. Creating awareness is the need of the hour.'

'Now-a-days we see more number of vehicles plying on the roads emitting smoke including government owned buses. Officials should curb this menace that result in affecting the health of the public, said Savitha a resident of Agrahara.

Emission Test report filed on-line : Reminders will be sent to mobile

Earlier vehicle emission tests were being done at the respective centers which issued the test certificate. But most of these centres blindly issued the certificates without conducting tests properly.

To curb this, the Transport Department recently introduced on-line verification system, in which the emission readings of all the vehicles being tested along with a photo of the vehicle with it's Registration number plate clearly visible will be sent to Bangalore through e-mail.

This is stored in a server and can be retrieved anytime for verification. Once approved, hologram stickers will be affixed on the certificate before issuing them to the vehicle owner to avoid counterfeiting. Reminders will be sent to their mobile phones asking them renew after the due date. The procedure of emission test takes 2 to 3 minutes for petrol vehicles while it takes about 15 to 20 minutes for diesel vehicles.

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