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Overloaded trucks cause more pollution, accidents (April)


From potholes to slow-moving traffic, the Capital’s roads have a host of problems that make the daily commute of many Delhiites an ordeal.

Now, according to transport research organisations, overloaded vehicles have become one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution and unsafe driving. A vehicle carrying goods beyond its payload capacity emits exponentially more toxic gases than the one that is not overloaded, as per data from the Central Road Research Institute and the Indian Federation of Transport Research and Training.

The CRRI said at standard loading a vehicle emits 3.17 g/km of nitrogen oxide, which jumps to 119.2 g/km if the vehicle is overloaded by 30 per cent. Similarly, particulate matter increases from 104.13 g/km at standard loading to 611.75 g/km at 30 per cent overloading.

“A total of 60 to 70 per cent of all goods carriers operating in Delhi are overloaded and the magnitude of the overloading is such that most carry 100 times more weight than they are supposed to,” said IFTRT senior fellow and coordinator S. P. Singh.

Mr. Singh said Delhi being the centre of the NCR bore the brunt of illegal activities that come with its status of a commercial and industrial hub.

“Not only do overloaded vehicles pollute more, they are a threat to others on the road. The driver of an overloaded vehicle loses control and causes accidents,” he explained.

According to the Federation, these vehicles are able to get away as the enforcement in Delhi is lax.

“The enforcement agencies are hand-in-glove with the transporters,” said Mr. Singh.

On its part, the Traffic Police can prosecute the offenders either for overloading or if they fail to produce the PUC certificate. However, there is no separate provision under the Motor Vehicles Act which deals with the additional pollution caused by an overloaded vehicle if it has a valid PUC certificate, said a police officer.


Hindu, Delhi, Tuesday 29th April 2014