EghtesadOnline: Dilapidated vehicles are blamed for over 40% of Tehran’s worsening air pollution, which problem has not been resolved yet, the head of Tehran Vehicle Technical Inspection Bureau said.
Hossein Moqaddam added that the current rules for mandatory technical inspections and repairs are no longer effective, as smog-inducing cars plying the capital’s roads are increasing and worsening air pollution, ISNA reported.
As per the rule to minimize the destructive effect of polluting vehicles on air quality, all two- and four-wheelers in the metropolis are required to go through mandatory inspections annually and receive technical conformity papers that show the vehicle meets all automotive and emission standards.
Brand new vehicles are exempted from tests by up to four years.
However, Moqaddam says even dilapidated vehicles can pass the test after minor repairs. A vehicle lacking basic safety factors can pass the test but fail to preserve the standards until the next inspection session (one year later).
“The rule’s inefficiency compelled Iran's Administrative Court of Justice to order its cancellation and call on relevant officials to devise an alternative,” he added.
The waived rule pertained to Article 8 of Clean Air Act, which was proposed by the Department of Environment as an integrated approach to curb air pollution.
CAA set a vehicle’s exhaustion based on its age. Accordingly, the dilapidation age for passenger vehicles in metropolises and other cities has been set at 18 and 20 years old respectively. Taxis in metropolises are considered dilapidated after 10 years of use.
Moqaddam said, “Now that the annual tests are cancelled and car owners may not afford to change their cars, dilapidated vehicles should be obliged to repeat technical inspection tests two to four times a year.”
More frequent tests do not guarantee the detection of a ramshackled car, but they can force the drivers to at least repeat minor repairs.
Inspection Statistics and Remedial Schemes
Providing a report on technical inspection tests, Moqaddam said that in the month ending July 21, nearly 167,000 vehicles have visited test centers, which indicate a 46% rise compared to the year-ago month.
He added that of the total figure, 21,200 vehicles underwent their first test.
“Surprisingly, 38% of first-time visitors did not make it through the test and technically failed,” he said.
This shows that even brand-new cars did not completely conform to standards, Moqaddam said, blaming the problem on domestic carmakers.
To control the increasing volume of air pollutants, Tehran’s urban managers have devised several traffic rules to restrict commutation.
Air Pollution Control, Air Pollution Reduction and the so-called Traffic Scheme are currently underway in the city.
As per the APC scheme, each vehicle can enter a "restricted zone" in central Tehran for free for a maximum of 20 days each season, or 80 days a year.
Spread over 88.5 square kilometers in central Tehran, the zone is bounded by Imam Ali Expressway to the east, Navvab Expressway and Chamran Highway to the west, Besat Expressway to the south and Hemmat Expressway to the north.
APR bars dilapidated two- and four-wheelers from plying the city’s roads. All the vehicles in the metropolis are required to undergo automotive inspections and receive a technical certificate showing the vehicle meets automotive and emission standards. Those who are found in breach are fined.
The more stringent “Traffic Scheme” in central Tehran is enforced in an area limited by Motahari Street in the north, Shariati Street in the east, Kargar (west) and Shoosh (south) where cars, except public transportation vehicles, are barred from entering the area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Entering the zone costs up to 517,500 rials ($2.33) for private vehicles.
While officials emphasize the key role of traffic schemes on controlling traffic jams and air pollution, experts believe that the rules have had minimal positive effect.