|Motorbike drivers in congested traffic on HCM City's National Highway No 1. A plan to reduce motorbike exhaust fumes was rescheduled to start in 2017, the Ministry of Transport said. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Transport has asked the Government to further extend the deadline for cutting exhaust fumes of motorbikes to the beginning of 2017.
The plan envisaged having at least 20 per cent of bikes in the country cut their exhaust fumes in the 2010-2013 period, but this was not met.
A ministry official said that the Government was yet to fix exhaust control levels for motorbikes as it has done for cars.
The ministry had planned to stop old motorbikes likely to emit excessive exhaust fumes in Ha Noi and HCM City, but there were no measures in place to implement this .
Statistics from the ministry show that the country has about 2 million automobiles and 40 million motorbikes, and 60 per cent of them are in big cities.
Substances contained in exhaust fumes, including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, are much higher than regulated levels in Ha Noi and HCM City.
Chu Manh Hung, director of the Department of Environment under the ministry, said that the measures to control exhaust fumes from automobiles had been quite effective, but there was nothing in place to monitor motorbikes.
"With 40 million motorbikes on the road, will they agree there is a need to control exhaust fumes or not?" he said.
Residents already complain that they have to pay too many fees, and these could increase if the new measure is adopted.
"We need to explain clearly the necessity of the project and obtain public approval," said Hung.
Nguyen Huu Tri, deputy director of the Vietnam Register under the ministry, said that under the project's draft decree, motorbikes less than three years old would not be subject to annual checks.
The project, which would intially be carried out in Ha Noi, HCM City, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Can Tho, will check all other motorbikes once a year.
If bikes pass the inspection, they will receive a stamp to verify they are clean.
The department had been looking at administrative punishments for motorbike owners who violated permissible exhaust fumes, said Tri. — VNS