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Hi-tech plans to curb vehicle pollution

C.R. Sukumar

HYDERABAD, May 12

THE Andhra Pradesh Transport Department is planning to adopt hi-tech measures to effectively control the increasing levels of vehicle pollution in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

The move follows complaints received by the department from several sections of the society that the pollution check certificates were being issued without proper check.

To ensure proper issue of such certificates, the department is planning to introduce a sophisticated system where the photograph of the vehicle would be printed on the computerised certificates issued by the testing centres.

Currently, the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) issues the `Pollution Under Check' certificates through 118 test centres. Of this, 91 centres are in the twin cities, 24 in Ranga Reddy district and three in Medak district.

The proposed hi-tech move is expected to ensure that no certificate is issued without the vehicle going through the actual test process.

This system is also expected to result in reducing the scope for manipulation by the authorities in the issue of the certificates.

According to the department officials, plans were also on the anvil to amend the regulations for enabling smooth transition of these test centres in upgrading their infrastructure. The department is planning to permit the centres to enhance the fee levied for testing and issue of computerised certificates keeping in view the need for more investments for upgrading the centre's infrastructure.

Further, the department plans to strengthen its surveillance wing to check misuse of tax concessions offered to the transport vehicles used by the educational institutions and also check illegal plying of vehicles. Stating that several moves initiated during the last couple of years had yielded substantial results, the officials said the department was successful in collecting a penalty to the tune of Rs 75 crore during 2001-02 against Rs 52 crore in the

previous year.

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