|An old truck in Long Biên District in Hà Nội. The capital city will conduct emissions tests on old vehicles next year to improve air quality. — VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng|
HÀ NỘI — As many as 5,000 old vehicles will be put through emission tests by the end of next year as part of a campaign to improve air quality in the capital city.
The campaign aims to raise awareness among the population of the importance of regularly checking vehicle emissions. The city is also encouraging transport businesses to adopt modern and environmentally friendly technologies. Old vehicles that didn't make the cut may not be permitted to circulate in the future.
Outdated vehicles, especially those poorly maintained, produce pollutants including carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbon (HC) and nitric oxide (NOx) that exceed permitted levels, and severely decrease air quality in urban areas which contribute to respiratory diseases.
Vehicle periodic maintenance can cut fuel consumption by up to 7 per cent and CO and HC emissions by 42 per cent and 45 per cent, respectively, according to research by the Institute of Transport Science and Technology in Hà Nội.
Currently, old motorbikes are salvaged by a handful of workshops in the city's outskirts which often employ outdated technologies and machines and have become sources of pollution themselves.
The city has also set up a pilot programme to support owners of old vehicles to purchase new vehicles, to evaluate the socio-economic impact of vehicle emission control and to integrate said measures in the city's long-term transport strategy.
Hà Nội will work with the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (VAMM) to set up 34 sites to process old discarded vehicles by city residents.
According to a source from the city's transport department, owners of old vehicles will be eligible for a refund worth up to VNĐ4 million or a discount in the same amount from VAMM. The city has reserved in its budget enough funds to refund 3,860 vehicles.
Eight VAMM stores across the city will be selected as testing sites. The stores will be equipped with testing machines and trained technicians to carry out the pilot programme, according to Deputy Chairman of the city's People Committee Nguyễn Trọng Đông.
According to the city's department of transport, Hà Nội currently has 5.7 million motorised vehicles in circulation. Of which, 2.5 million motorbikes and 730,000 cars were registered before the year 2000. A large number of vehicles from neighbouring provinces and cities also enter the city on a daily basis. — VNS