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Deadlock between CNG dealers, Tranport Dept continues as city gasps for air

Sources in the Transport Department said that while the software to track CNG kits and their installation has been ready for more than two months, the dealers have not complied with the terms and conditions.

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The transport dept and CNG kit dealers have been unable to reach common ground
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It seems the national Capital is unlikely to get a respite from air pollution any time soon. The Delhi Transport Department and the CNG kit dealers have been unable to reach a common ground, leading to a delay in the implementation of the new software.

The Delhi government had issued a ban on retrofitting of CNG kits in vehicles in June, after it was alleged that low-grade Chinese kits were being fitted in the vehicles. The Transport Department then developed a software to ensure that every CNG kit was accounted for. The Department had also demanded the authorised dealers to provide details of previous fittings, which are yet to be submitted.

Sources in the Transport Department said that while the software to track CNG kits and their installation has been ready for more than two months, the dealers have not complied with the terms and conditions.

"The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has already developed a software that will have end-to-end information regarding the CNG kits. The system will ensure that all information regarding the kits being supplied by manufacturers and importers to distributors and retrofitment centres is stored," said a Transport Department official.

He added: "We had asked the dealers to hand over the information regarding CNG kits installed in the last nine months but they are yet to provide the details, which is leading to the delay."

Sources further said that while nearly 1,800 CNG kits complying with the norms were imported to India during the second odd-even drive, the department issued more than 23,000 registration certificates to retrofitted vehicles, raising doubts regarding the procurement of the additional kits.

The CNG Dealers Association, however, claimed it was, in fact, the current policy that was leading to the influx of spurious CNG kits. "Firstly, most dealers have already provided the details of the CNG kits to the Transport Department. Secondly, why has the department not issued non-compliance notices to those who have not submitted the details? We want to know why those dealers, who have licenses and have submitted the details of previous retrofittings, not being able to operate?" said Kapil Sankhla, Lawyer for Society for Alternative Fuel and Environment.

Sankhla added that the delay has led to cartelisation of CNG kit installation, and increased use of Chinese kits, leading to pollution.

Delhi has been reeling under severe pollution levels. An IIT-Kanpur study on air pollution had suggested that vehicular pollution was the second highest contributor to PM2.5 at 20 per cent, with the highest being road dust at 38 per cent, followed by domestic fuel burning and industrial point sources.

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