The law on Pollution Under Control (PUC) in India
This article explains about the Certification Mark of PUC for Motor Vehicles in India.
What is PUC?
PUC (Pollution Under Control) is a Certification Mark issued to certify that motor vehicles in India meet emission and pollution control norms.
Which vehicles must have PUC?
All motor vehicles must have a valid PUC Certificate.
The term motor vehicle is defined in Section 2(28) of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988:
(28) “motor vehicle” or “vehicle” means any mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads whether the power of propulsion is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer; but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises or a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding twenty-five cubic centimetres; is transmitted thereto from an external or internal source and includes a chassis to which a body has not been attached and a trailer; but does not include a vehicle running upon fixed rails or a vehicle of a special type adapted for use only in a factory or in any other enclosed premises or a vehicle having less than four wheels fitted with engine capacity of not exceeding twenty-five cubic centimetres;”
What are the charges for PUC checking?
PUC charges vary from place to place, but are usually between Rs. 60 to Rs. 100 for a 4 wheeler – Petrol LMV.
What is the procedure for PUC tests?
For Diesel vehicles:
- The accelerator should be fully pressed.
- The reading of pollution levels should be noted with the acceleration pedal fully pressed.
- The average of five readings is considered as the Final Reading
For Petrol vehicles:
- The vehicle is kept idling without the accelerator pressed.
- Only one reading is taken.
What is the validity of a PUC Certificate?
||PUC Test Reading
||Less than 3 %
||Less than 1.5 %
||Less than 50 Hartridge Smoke Units.
||3 to 4 %
||1.5 to 2.5 %
||50 to 60 Hartridge Smoke Units
||4 to 4.5 %
||2.5 to 3.00 %
||60 to 65 Hartridge Smoke Units
What is the validity of PUC for a new car? When should the first PUC check be done on a new car?
The validity of PUC for a new car is 1 year from the date of registration.
Thereafter PUC tests must be done every 6 months. In the case of higher CO2 levels, refer to the table above.
What is required to undergo a PUC check?
Just your car.
What should be mentioned on the PUC Certificate?
The PUC certificate must mention, the certificate serial number, the vehicle license plate number, the date of testing, the expiry date, the emission readings.
The PUC certificate must mention:
- the certificate serial number
- the vehicle license plate number
- the date of testing
- the expiry date
- the emission readings
Who is authorised to conduct a PUC test?
The persons conducting the test should hold a minimum qualification of certificate in Automobile Engineering or Motor Mechanics issued by Industrial Training Institute of Government of Maharashtra and should also know the procedure for minor adjustments/repairs with which the pollution levels can be brought down, without affecting overall performance of the engine.
What are the pollution limits?
Refer to the table above to know the permitted emission limits.
What if my motor vehicle exceeds the pollution limits?
Incase of vehicles showing higher level of emissions than the prescribed limits under Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 the registration number of such vehicles should be informed to concerned RTO, Dy. RTO Or Asst. RTO by the permit holder of the testing Centre within 24 hours.
What should I do with the PUC Certificate? Do I need to keep the PUC Certificate in the vehicle?
Yes. You must carry a valid PUC certificate in the vehicle.
As per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 Rule 115:
115. Emission of smoke, vapour, etc. from motor vehicles:
(7) After the expiry of a period of one year from the date on which the motor vehicle was first registered, every such vehicle shall carry a valid ‘Pollution under control’ certificate issued by an agency authorised for this purpose by the State Government. The validity of the certificate shall be for six months and the certificate shall always be carried in the vehicle and produced on demand by the officers referred to in sub-rule (1) of rule 116.
This means that you must have the PUC Certificate in the vehicle at all times and it must be produced immediately when asked by any officer not below the rank
of Sub-Inspector of Police or the Inspector of Motor Vehicles.
I have heard that it is NOT mandatory to keep the PUC Certificate in the vehicle and I can produce it within 7 days from the RTO officer asking me in writing.
That is NOT correct.
Section 115 (given above) is very clear that “the certificate shall always be carried in the vehicle and produced on demand”
It has been misinterpreted as being part of Section 116 which states that:
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (7) of rule 115 any officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector of Police or the Inspector of Motor Vehicles who has reason to believe that a motor vehicle is not complying with the provisions of sub-rule (2) or sub-rule (7) of rule 115, may in writing direct the driver or any person incharge of the vehicle to submit the vehicle for conducting the test to measure the standards of emission in any one of the authorised testing stations, and produce the certificate to an authority at the address mentioned in the written direction within 7 days from the date of conducting the check.
Section 116 clearly starts with the word notwithstanding.
This means that even if a vehicle has a valid PUC Certificate as given in section 115, but the officer believes that the vehicle maybe a source of pollution beyond the limits, he may ask for the vehicle to be rechecked.
This order to retest the vehicle for PUC norms, must be in writing and can be replied to within 7 days.
It does not mean that the PUC certificate need not be carried with the vehicle or that it can be produced within 7 days.
Is the PUC valid throughout India? Do I need to take a separate PUC if I am travelling to a different state in India?
Yes. The PUC certificate is valid throughout India.
As per section 116:
(8) The certificate issued under sub-rule (7) shall, while it remains effective be valid throughout India.