Exhaust fumes from old vehicles, especially motorbikes, are exceeding the permitted levels and polluting the environment around major cities, including Hà Nội. — Photo vnexpress.net
HÀ NỘI — Exhaust fumes from old vehicles, especially motorbikes, are exceeding the permitted levels and polluting the environment around major cities, including Hà Nội.
Đỗ Văn Ngợi, the owner of a motorbike repair shop on Hà Nội’s Bạch Thái Bưởi Street, said his shop fixed around 4-5 motorbikes each week that were billowing out excessive exhaust fumes.
However, Ngợi also admitted that he did not know exactly what the permitted levels were.
Chu Văn Hợi, the owner of a cooking gas and water outlet in Hà Nội’s Thanh Xuân Bắc Ward, said he often bought old motorbikes for his workers to use to deliver the gas and water.
“I still buy old motorbikes to ship our goods, and no one has fined me for using them yet,” he said.
Hợi also said he knew nothing about the permitted levels.
The situation has been getting worse over the years despite a Government plan adopted in June 2010 giving the Ministry of Transport as well as relevant agencies permission to control the levels of exhaust fumes emitted by vehicles across the country. The plan followed Decision No 909/QĐ-Ttg that took effect that same month.
But it has failed so far due to many reasons, Giao thông (Transport) online newspaper reported.
According to the ministry, the growing number of vehicles on the country’s roads was the main reason for the problem.
Statistics from the ministry’s Việt Nam Registration Agency showed that the country has approximately 50 million motorbikes that discharge up to 90 per cent of the total carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions into the environment.
Owners were also to blame for not taking their vehicles for regular checks to ensure exhaust fumes did not go beyond the permitted levels, the ministry said.
The third reason was the ministry and relevant agencies had not worked out how to implement the plan, the ministry said.
Nguyễn Hữu Trí, deputy head of the agency, said a proposal had been submitted to the Government in September 2016 about checking exhaust fumes on motorbikes with an engine capacity above 175cc and over five years old. Owners would have to pay VNĐ60,000 (US$2.6) for the service. The Government has approved the proposal and it is set to take effect on July 1, 2018.
It estimated there are only 20,000 motorbikes that fit into this category in the country’s five largest cities.
In the second phase of the proposal, motorbikes with an engine capacity under 175cc would start being checked after 2020.
But the ministry has found itself in an awkward situation because the current Law on Road Traffic does not include regulations on checking exhaust fumes on different types of vehicles, he said.
This inconsistency was one of the reasons for the delays, he said.
In response to the situation, Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng recently ordered the ministry to compile a plan to implement amendments to the current law, Trí said. — VNS