13:00 | 05/01/2021 Environment
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City is undertaking a pilot project to control the exhaust emissions of the city’s almost seven million motorcycles. However, experts are concerned about its potential for increased costs affecting low-income people, especially the many who earn their living using a motorcycle.
Efforts to reduce pollution
At a recent meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front seeking public feedback on the draft project, Deputy Chairman Tran Huu Phuoc said exhaust fumes are one of the major causes of air pollution in Ho Chi Minh City, making inspection of motorcycle exhaust emissions necessary.
The project is based on the findings of an evaluation conducted by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport, the Vietnam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers and the Institute of Transport Science and Technology.
Associate Professor Pham Xuan Mai from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology said the evaluation only tested 10,682 motorcycles, a number that was too low and thus not reliable. To increase the reliability of the project, some 5-10 percent of total vehicles should be checked, he said.
The pilot will be launched in 2021, with the building of 88 inspection centers and the issuance of regulations to test vehicles.
The 2022-2023 period will focus on completing policies, assessing all vehicles for database and collecting the yearly fee of VND50,000 per vehicle. The poor and near poor might be exempt from the test fee. Different districts will have different emission criteria for motorcycles that have been in use for more than five years.
In the 2024-2025 period, additional 78 inspection centers will be set up to expand emission inspection in more districts with the focus on districts 1,3,5 and 10.
From 2026, motorcycle exhaust emissions in 13 downtown districts will be under scrutiny. Total expenditure for the project to 2030 is VND553 billion.
Increasing costs for drivers
Experts and district representatives affirmed the suitability of the project, aiming at local environmental protection. However, many issues need to be considered carefully.
Lawyer Truong Thi Hoa asked the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport to provide more information about the effect of emission inspections, as well as more detailed roadmaps and additional solutions for cars. She also proposed clarifying the legal basis and policies for the poor, especially those who earn their living by motorcycle.
Bui Hoa An, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport, promised that his department and related agencies would issue more detailed roadmaps in each phase, as well as adopt preferential policies for the poor. He also promised to focus on smart technology solutions to save time and costs, and the review of the test fee.
The overall goal of the project is to control motorcycle exhaust emissions in order to improve air quality in
the city and to limit the use of personal vehicles in the future.