Industries Ministry Stance on Motorbikes Criticized

Motorcycles are responsible for 16% of air pollution in Tehran
Carburetor-equipped motorcycles are as much as six times more polluting than cars with Euro 2 standards.Carburetor-equipped motorcycles are as much as six times more polluting than cars with Euro 2 standards.
The production of carbureted motorcycles has been banned since Sept. 22, 2016

While a government directive has banned the production of carburetor-equipped motorbikes since Sept. 22, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade is set to authorize the production of half a million such bikes on the grounds that orders were placed for them prior to the directive. 

The plan has been criticized by a number of officials, including Mohammad Haqqani, a member of the city council, who said on Saturday he was “made aware of a letter by the Industries Minister[Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh] to the government asking for the suspension of the ban”.

Haqqani has urged the government to come up with a solution for the difference in the price of old and modern bikes so that the replacement of dilapidated motorbikes with fuel-injection or electric ones will not put undue financial pressure on the less-privileged strata, ILNA reported. 

“Even China does not produce polluting carburetor-equipped motorbikes for domestic use anymore; they make them for us to import!” he said.

The councilor accused the ministry of wanting to increase its revenue “since production and sale of carburetor-equipped motorcycles is more profitable”.

“The directive is clear and final. It must be upheld unconditionally rather than postponed or ignored by adding new amendments,” said Maziar Hosseini, , deputy for traffic and transport at Tehran Municipality, condemning the ministry’s insistence on producing substandard, highly polluting motorcycles.

He stressed that public health is a top priority and the production of any vehicle threatening public health is unacceptable. 

“It is high time motorcycles are compelled to pass technical inspection like cars so as to reduce their contribution to air pollution,” the official was quoted as saying by ISNA. 

There are currently 10 technical checkup centers in the capital. 

Hosseini also suggested that the restriction on the use of motorcycles in the city center must be enforced as well. 

  More Polluting than Cars

Saeed Motessadi, human environment deputy at the Department of Environment, noted that the resumption of manufacture or registration of carburetor-equipped motorcycles requires a directive and approval from the government and is otherwise prohibited. 

“Since September, the production and registration of these motorcycles were terminated and all relevant permits that had been issued by the DOE prior to the enactment of the directive became void,” said the official, adding that the police department was informed about the nullification immediately. 

Today, permits are only issued for fuel-injection motorbikes. 

“Between 15 and 20 models of fuel-injection motorcycles, all of which comply with Euro 3 standards, are produced and registered in Iran,” Motessadi said. 

Motorcycles are responsible for 16% of air pollution in Tehran, especially the central districts. On average, each carbureted motorbike produces five to six times more pollution than a vehicle with Euro 2 standards. This is while each motorcycle roams ten times further across the streets of Tehran than a car. 

Motessadi added that given the large number of motorcycles in polluted metropolises—such as Tehran—it is essential that the existing bikes be replaced with electric ones, which produce almost no pollution at all. 

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