Parliamentarians, MoCC Join Hands To Regulate Vehicular Emissions

ISLAMABAD, (Muzaffargarh.City – 29th Aug, 2019 ) :Senate Standing Committee on Climate Change’s sub-committee members and the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) Thursday have decided to regulate vehicular emissions through the bill to be tabled in the Senate .

The sub-committee convener Senator Muhammad Asad Ali Khan Junejo while chairing the meeting said the idea was floated in the main standing committee to determine a limit of carbon emissions within the existing quality of automobiles and fuels available in the market.

“We cannot leave vehicles to spew heavy amounts of carbon at large as automobile manufacturers claim to have noncompliant fuel available which is the main cause of harmful emissions,” he added.

Asad said he had prepared a tentative draft of the legislation which would be shared with the minister of state for climate change to have her ministry’s input and experts’ suggestion.

“Under the prevailing tense economic situation, we are proposing to regulate air pipe emissions of automobiles in the first phase. It is the global practice that vehicular emission testing also includes windpipe, tyres, engine condition and the entire vehicles assessment. However, it is not possible for the public to take on another burden while bearing the brunt of inflation and increased financial load,” he said.

The proposed legislation, he said would be tables as a bill in the Senate where after approval would be sent to the National Assembly where the government’s support would be required to get the legislation accepted.

“In the beginning only air pipe emissions will be regulated where after three years the other aspects motor inspection and testing would be initiated. However, it will be approved as a whole and its implementation would be carried out phase wise,” Senator Asad Junejo said.

The ministry, he said would be authorized to review the standards in the legislation after certain time frame where an open door policy was adopted to have detailed and inclusive consultations with all relevant stakeholders including MoCC.

State Minister for Climate Change Zartaj Gul fully endorsed the idea to table the legislation on regulating vehicular emissions and directed the Director Generals of Environment Wing and Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA) to make the lists of experts and relevant stakeholders for consultations to be made on the bill.

She suggested the Convener of the sub-committee to have a meeting at the MoCC to have detailed discussions with all relevant stakeholders including ministry of industries, petroleum division and all other concerned.

She said it was a very important legislation to control air pipe emissions and impose regular vehicle testing. “In Muzaffargarh, around two years back 35 children have died due to a CNG cylinder blast in a school van. There are also Ayub era’s trucks plying on the roads that have gone redundant but still such automobiles are in the system. Therefore, this legislation is pertinent in the prevailing scenario,” she added.

“All initiatives should be taken as test case at Federal level with the provinces in the backdrop in such legislations. The bill should have special inclusion of provinces in this initiative,” she urged Senator Junejo.

The officials of the ministry of communications told the committee that National Transport Centre’s motor vehicle examiner lacked technological equipment to monitor air pipe emissions of vehicles. “In Punjab around 35 motor testing centres including one in Rawat have been established to conduct inspection of vehicles. They have bought equipments from Sweden to hold the automobile examination,” he added.

Director General (DG) Environment MoCC Irfan Tariq said vehicular emissions had major share in ambient air pollution and there should be wider consultations in this regard.

DG EPA Farzana Altaf Shah said Pakistan was only manufacturing petrol vehicles complaint with Euro-II standards where the diesel engines made were not in conformity with the global standards.