CSE hails SC order on no insurance without PUC

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The foremost among which is the fact that from now on Insurance companies would require you to furnish a Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUC) when you apply to renew your Insurance. The court further directed the Centre to ensure there is a pollution checking centre at each petrol pump.

Among other insightful changes, the bench that issued these mandates comprised of Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also took note of the fact that some refilling outlets in the NCR did not have PUC centres. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta way back in 1985 dealing with various aspects of pollution. The EPCA informed the court that a survey of the existing 962 pollution checking centres revealed that the standards prescribed for testing pollution levels were not uniformly followed at these centres.

The government has also been directed to audit all the PUC centres to ensure credibility of the tests.

The court agreed with the EPCA that the linkage between PUC certificates and vehicle insurance would go a long way in ensuring compliance and a subsequent dip in vehicular emission levels.

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Sunita Narain, Director General, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said, "In Delhi, only 23 per cent of vehicles come for PUC tests". However, he added that the current regime only provides for a fine of Rs 1,000 for driving without a PUC certificate.

It is an offence to drive a vehicle without a valid PUC certificate, as well as insurance copy.

Anumita Roychowdhury, CSE's Executive Director-Research and Advocacy, said, "The PUC system is critical to keep emissions of on-road vehicles under check". For this objective, the court even directed the Centre to prepare a national database of vehicles to ensure such information is easily accessible.

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