EghtesadOnline: A controversial request entailing issuance of license plates for thousands of carburetor-equipped motorcycles was declined by the Cabinet, Department of Environment deputy Masoud Tajrishi announced on Wednesday.
A short while back, ministers of interior and industries signed a joint petition asking the Cabinet to permit issuance of license plates for roughly 10,000 units of carburetor-equipped bikes, a request that has stirred up the anger and disapproval of many DOE and health officials ever since.
The two ministers putting forth the proposal claimed that it was aimed to curb “losses inflicted on makers” due to the ban “imposed” on the production of the two-wheelers, according to Financial Tribune.
In a June 17 meeting among executive bodies, the request failed to obtain as many favorable votes as needed, rendering the case dismissed once and for all, reported ISNA.
“The government refused to acknowledge the justifications put forth by the two ministers, adding that matters of greater significance such as clean and healthy air prevent the state from authorizing such [hazardous] moves,” Tajrishi was quoted as saying.
Stressing that no one should undermine policies by making exceptions, Tajrishi said, “We cannot use cheap fuel, drive substandard cars and at the same time expect to witness the air quality to improve.”
Tajrishi underscored the need for a framework and regulatory rulebook to provide guidance in crunch times.
He concluded his words saying that employment and economic prosperity are tied to national health, and no industry should flourish at the expense of people’s wellbeing.
Another health expert pointed to the related government directive and the unlawful nature of producing more carburetor-equipped bikes.
Director of Tehran City Council’s Health Commission Zahra Sadrazam Nouri stressed that carburetor-equipped motorcycles are four times more pollutant than cars—the precise logic behind the directive issued back in September 2016 that banned the production of such bikes.
Back in September 2016, the government ratified a directive obligating manufacturers of two-wheelers to shut down production of substandard carburetor-equipped bikes and to start manufacturing bikes employing fuel-injection systems.
Not long after ratifying the scheme, several manufacturing plants managed to receive license plates for their stored carburetor-equipped two-wheelers under various pretexts such as untimely notification by the government or having placed import orders for engine parts prior to the introduction of the given rule.
Carburetor-equipped motorcycles are responsible for 25% of air pollution in Tehran, ranked as one of the leading contributors to immature deaths. With 2,600 premature pollution-related deaths every year, Iran is among the top five countries in terms of air pollution mortality.
“Tehran is afflicted with air pollution caused by [substandard] vehicles and motorbikes,” added Nouri, naming various environmental and health complications that stem from the biohazard.
“The ministries of interior and industries seem to be more concerned about profit and employment rates rather than national health,” Nouri was quoted as saying, calling on officials with the ministries to pay closer attention to this vital issue.