DOE Disappointed With Majlis Clean Air Bill Revision

Most other countries have annual technical inspections, but in Iran cars must be inspected every four years
More than 3 million vehicles, many of which are substandard, ply the streets of Tehran.More than 3 million vehicles, many of which are substandard, ply the streets of Tehran.

The Majlis on Tuesday approved a revised article of the Clean Air Bill that critics, including the Department of Environment, say is pointless.

The original text called for more frequent inspection of all vehicles. The current law stipulated technical inspection of vehicles once every five years, whereas the DOE, which drafted the bill, was pushing for biennial checkups.

However, legislators revised the article, proposing that inspections for private and government take place every four years, while public transportation fleet have to undergo inspection every two years.

"Most other countries have annual technical inspections, but now in Iran we have to do them every four years," Saeed Motessadi, DOE's deputy for human environments, said. "The DOE has to obey the law, but we will continue to push for more frequent inspections."

Navvab Hosseini-Manesh, the head of Tehran's Technical Inspection Headquarters, was also dismayed with the parliament's move and said "reducing mandatory technical inspection from every five years to four does absolutely nothing to solve our air pollution problem".

Tehran's public transportation fleet has 80,000 vehicles, compared to 3.8 million private vehicles.

"In other words, buses and taxis, which make up a small portion of all vehicles in the city, will undergo inspection every two years, whereas private vehicles will be inspected every four years—that's just not going to help," Hosseini-Manesh said.

The bill had been gathering dust for well over a year before the new parliament began work in May 2016.

Hopes were high that the bill would pass with minimal change, but progress has been slow.

Fumes from more than 3 million cars that ply the streets of the Iranian capital contribute 70-80% of Tehran’s air pollution, while decrepit motorcycles also exacerbate the city’s pollution woes.

The government banned the production of highly-polluting, carburetor-equipped motorcycles from September 2016 and is urging people to opt for eco-friendly electric motorbikes.

The administration is distributing Euro 4-compliant gasoline in major cities for months and has ordered automakers to make their products comply with the standard.

With 26,000 annual deaths due to air pollution, Iran ranks 16th in terms of air pollution-related deaths, according to figures released by the World Health Organization, costing Iran around $30 billion a year.

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