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EghtesadOnline: Since the Air Pollution Reduction (APR) scheme was launched in the capital late last month, an estimated 300,000 vehicles have approached the special car technical inspection centers. What is causing anxiety is that over two-third of this number had never been checked before!

Figures released by Tehran Vehicle Technical Inspection Bureau show 212,000 cars lacked the mandatory technical conformity papers and had come to the centers for the first time, Mehr News Agency reported.

As per the scheme, initiated by the Tehran Municipality to help improve air quality, old cars have been banned in the sprawling city and violators are subject to fines on a daily basis.

All four and two-wheelers in the metropolis are required to go for annual automotive inspections and receive technical conformity card that shows the vehicles meet the automotive and emission standards. For taxis and public vehicles, the rules are more stringent and tests are needed at least twice a year, Financial Tribune reported.

To this end, the bureau is conducting random field checks of heavy-duty vehicles to ascertain their compliance with rules and regulations.

"More than 1,500 diesel-powered commercial vehicles were tested by the bureau and the technical inspection cards of over 20% of the vehicles were revoked. Almost 36% of the drivers had not even bothered to get their vehicles tested and failed to present the technical card," CEO of the bureau, Navab Hosseini said.

He did not provide details about other types of vehicles and motorcycles.

Phased Scheme

The APR is part of a phased scheme introduced by TM in 2015. The first phase envisioned for curbing air pollution in Tehran took effect in October 2016, involving checks on technical inspection papers in restricted traffic zones -- an 80sqm area in central parts of the capital in which only public transport and cars with special permits are allowed to enter during working hours.

The second phase now underway covers a much wider area and bans cars, buses, and heavy vehicles without technical inspection from entering the metropolis.

Air pollution and traffic congestion have long been a dilemma for residents of the capital. The APR tries to curb air pollution that annually claims thousands of innocent lives in Tehran.

According to a report by the Iranian Legal Medicine Organization, during the fiscal that ended in March, almost 12,000 air pollution-related deaths were recorded in Iran with one-third of the fatalities in the capital.


Iran Auto Inspection Center Air Pollution Reduction APR