In order to control air pollution, Department of Environment and Climate Change under Tandrust Punjab Mission has decided to ensure replacement of more than fifteen years old three wheelers with electric/CNG three wheelers, informed KS Pannu, Director Tandrust Punjab Mission. He said that it has been observed that a large number of three wheelers which are more than 15 years are operating in the State of Punjab but as per Rule 68 C of the Punjab Motor Vehicle Rules 1989, three wheelers auto rickshaws cannot operate beyond 15 years. He informed that Punjab Pollution Control Board has already banned the registration of new diesel/petrol three wheelers in the District of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mohali since January 2019. In fact, the case for banning such vehicles in the districts of Patiala and Bathinda is also under the consideration of the Board and CNG supply stations have recently been setup in these two districts to meet the upcoming demand.Pannu said that all the three wheelers which are more than 15 years old are not just illegally operating in the State but are a major pollution hazard in addition to being accident prone. So, in the major cities of Punjab CNG supply stations have been setup and in addition electric three wheelers have also become available.
He said that Deputy Commissioners of all major cities have been asked to undertake measures to weed out the old three wheelers and to provide opportunity of having Gas/Electric based three wheelers to the owners of old three wheelers. Pannu said that to facilitate the transition, under Tandrust Punjab Mission, it has been proposed that a committee consisting of officers from Traffic wing of District Police, Pollution Control Board, Transport Department and Lead Bank officer of the District may be constituted by Deputy Commissioner under the chairmanship of a senior officer of the District Administration. He said that the residual value of old three wheelers is dismally low as these have outlived their life. However, major gas/electric three wheelers companies have agreed to offer a price ranging from Rs.20000 to Rs.25000 for old three wheelers, which shall be scrapped by them in the shredding/furnace units, so that these are permanently put off the roads.He said that it has been suggested that the owners/drivers of old three wheelers who are desirous of getting new gas/electric three wheelers, should be facilitated to obtain loans at concession rates from commercial banks under the Mudra Scheme or any other scheme of Government/Banks. Even camps of such applicants can be organized.Mission Director said that action as provided under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 shall continue to be taken against the vehicles running in violations of the Act.