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Sunday, 12 May 2013





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Government Gazette

Unroadworthy vehicles cause health hazards

Evaluating recent inspections the office of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles have identified that many vehicle repair technicians are not sufficiently skilled in tuning a vehicle to proper levels of the Vehicle Emission tests in Sri Lanka. This alarming discovery is leading to a new step in the Vehicle emission testing in Sri Lanka. The office of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) plans to conduct a special training to selected motor technicians from the entire country with the help of the German Tech.

Donít let the earth cough

Vehicle emission testing is stringently carried out amidst various controversies. This is a program aimed at making the nation healthy. The controlling mechanism is to create better living conditions for the people of this country and the future generation.

Did you know how much pollutants are added to the air with vehicle emissions? Carbon Monoxide, a main component in vehicle emissions is known as a silent killer. It's an odourless colourless vapour in all vehicle emissions. Hydrocarbons, from the half combusted fuel and oil get released in to the air. Specific micro particles emitted with the vehicle smoke, specially in diesel vehicles are tiny elements polluting the air in a big way. Sulphur Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxide are the other noted main air pollutants in the vehicle emissions. All these are highly toxic substances that will not only make the present world sick but the future as well.

According to the Air Resource Management Centre (AirMAC) of the Ministry of Environment vehicle emissions are the main factor polluting the air we breathe. Accordingly these pollutants when reaching the lungs start damaging the tissues, and medically it is proven damaged lung tissues are irreparable. This would make any man, woman or child a terminal patient with respiratory problems.

These toxics do not stop there. When absorbed in to the blood stream it can create constant headaches, dizziness, nausea and going further to many illnesses related to the nerve system and in the case of long term constant exposure even damage kidneys and liver. This is what happens when the air we breathe gets poisoned with pollutants from vehicle emissions.

Today we are conducting the vehicle emission program in eight provinces of the country in partnership with the private sector," said Project Director of RMV Emission Testing Program A.W. Dissanayake.

"Today people are more aware of the facts and are eager to pass the test in the legitimate way except for a few cases," Dissanayake said. As he further said, proper practices of maintaining a vehicle has been inculcated among the public. "Proper maintenance and fine tuning of the vehicle leads to efficient combustion of fuel, thus avoiding unnecessary over usage of fuel," he said. This leads to extending the life of a vehicle.

Pollutants are added to the air with vehicle emissions

Implementing the vehicle emission test is possible through several legal provisions that exist in the country. The 1951 Motor Vehicle Act and regulations of the 1952 Motor Vehicle Act can be recorded as the oldest.

The 1981 amended Motor Vehicle Act and the No.8 of the 2009 Amended version of the Act also provides legal provisions to implement the vehicle emission testing, as Dissanayake said. In 1983 these regulations have been gazetted under the Gazette number 246. In the extraordinary gazette issued on 2008.07.09 the Environment Act - No.47 1980 and No. 1533/17 , vehicle emission testing has been mentioned. Under the paragraph 29 of the Motor Vehicle Act mentions that in order to obtain Revenue permit, Vehicle Emission certificate is needed along with the Eligibility certificate. It also gives permission to the authorities to give the above certification combined.

Paragraph 194 of the Motor Vehicle Act gives power to the Commissioner General of Motor Vehicles to inspect any vehicle.

The Paragraph 198 of this Act gives power to Motor Vehicle Inspectors of the RMV to inspect vehicles at any given moment on the road.

Under the Motor Vehicle Act (paragraph 196 B) imposes a fine of Rs. 20,000 - 25,000 for issuing emission and eligibility certificates illegally. This also gives provision to suspend the authority given to issue such certification.

What do a vehicle owner have to do to maintain the vehicle in order to become the least air polluter?

Fine-tune the carburetor periodically. Air Filter, Fuel Filter and Engine Oil Filter need to be changed according to manufacturers' instructions. Components like plugs, electronic systems, cooling systems, silencer barrel, and ignition system need to be checked and repaired when necessary. Servicing Injector pumps and correctly pressurising them also help make the vehicle more efficient. Not overloading a vehicle is another main factor if you want the vehicle to live long.

"These regulations cannot be considered solely as controlling mechanisms. This benefits the vehicle owner," Dissanayake said.

A well maintained vehicle means long life for the engine and high efficient fuel usage means less fuel burnt, controlling the usage of petrol and diesel imported to the country thus saving a significant portion of foreign exchange. These steps improve the overall quality of the vehicle while making a safe environment of us as well as the future generation.

"We see that people are more interested in getting these certificates in the normal procedure rather than trying to overlook the rules and get permission. This is still a new system, specially in a developing country like ours. Thus, it will take some time to be inculcated in to the Sri Lankan culture," he said.



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