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Ludhiana

Posted at: Aug 31, 2017, 1:39 AM; last updated: Aug 31, 2017, 1:39 AM (IST)RESIDENTSPEAK

No respite from smoke-emitting diesel auto-rickshaws

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 30

Despite the industrial town being counted amongst the most polluted cities in the country, the district authorities seem to be indifferent towards improving the environment in the city.

Diesel-run auto-rickshaws plying within the city limits add to pollution woes of residents.

Most auto-rickshaws emit black smoke thus polluting air in the process, but there is little check on such vehicles by the district authorities or the Transport Department.

Diesel autos ubiquitous on city roads, bears testimony to the fact that the authorities concerned, have failed to prevent their entry into the city and reduce emission of black smoke laden with gases harmful to humans and the environment.

The situation is worse in the congested areas of the city, where a larger number of three-wheelers choke roads. A mist of black smoke, which engulfs the entire area, adds to air pollution. Noise pollution is another problem created by such vehicles plying on roads.

Other cities, including New Delhi, have replaced diesel-run auto-rickshaws with CNG or battery-operated vehicles long ago.

The state government and the administration have allowed plying of such vehicles in the city. On paper though, there is no permission to diesel-run auto-rickshaws within the city limits. Their number on roads speaks volumes of how restrictions work within the city limits.

When asked, Lovejit Kaur Kalsi, secretary of the newly formed Regional Transport Authority for the district and former district transport officer, however, said regular checks of pollution level of vehicles was done and challans were issued in case of violations. Such exercise would be carried out in the future too, she added.

She said checking of diesel-run auto-rickshaws was also being done in order to prevent vehicles, having permits for sub-divisions, in the city area.

Give subsidy on CNG-run autos

"The government must replace the existing diesel autos with battery-operated or CNG vehicles and also create infrastructure to make eco-friendly fuels and technologies easily available in the city. Some subsidy or exchange offer at highly discounted rates must be offered to diesel auto owners to enable them to switch over to cleaner vehicles." Pawanjot Singh, a resident

Money cannot buy health

"Diesel autos must be banned completely. I have never bought any diesel-run vehicle considering the harm it causes to the environment. Health comes first and money cannot buy you health. Environment cannot be compromised. The public transport should be made efficient and modern. Car pooling has to be encouraged." Vikas Harish, a resident

Phase out old three-wheelers

"Though battery operated autos can be seen in the city, these are very few in number. The government must create infrastructure for eco-friendly autos. Proper alternatives have to be provided, besides phasing out of old auto-rickshaws." Parminder Singh, a resident

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