Restrictions on Old Trucks, Buses to Reduce Air Pollution in Iran

The main sources of pollution in the cold season are dilapidated trucks and buses.
The main sources of pollution in the cold season are dilapidated trucks and buses.

Restrictions on dilapidated trucks and buses, which are responsible for much of the air pollution, can help improve air quality in the cold season when pollution levels peak, the head of the Department of Environment said.

Speaking on the sidelines of a government meeting late last week, Isa Kalantari added that the nature of pollution differs in the cold season and is largely caused by the concentration of PM2.5 (particulate matter at 2.5µm or less) generated by heavy vehicles.

"The main sources of pollution in the cold season when the phenomenon of inversion occurs are dilapidated trucks and buses, which generate 67% of the pollutants," he was quoted as saying by ILNA.

"Despite their large numbers, sedans are to be blamed for only 3% of pollutants in this season, while 10% are produced by motorbikes and 20% by other sources."

Kalantari explained that following the Roads Ministry's scheme banning old trucks from inter-city roads, the owners of these heavy vehicles entered cities to make a living.

They are now granted permission to ply the city at night, but the high volume of pollutants are entrapped as a result of inversion and cause the heavy daytime smog. This is made worse by the quality of supplied fuel that is lower than global standards.

"We have reached agreements with governor generals to ban the entry of trucks when the meteorological organization announces steady weather conditions [wherein lack of wind entraps pollutants]," he said.

Besides, around 3,400 decrepit buses ply the city roads in Tehran alone.

"The municipality says that it cannot afford to replace this number of buses and their elimination will disrupt public transport," he said.

Kalantari told reporters that if the entry of heavy vehicles in metropolises is prohibited during the most polluted period of the year (Dec. 5-Jan. 5) and the government makes a decision about old urban buses, conditions will improve in the future cold seasons.  In the government commission on infrastructure, industry and environment affairs, DOE has proposed that schools in northern Iran with colder climates, including Tehran, begin a month earlier and have a vacation in the peak pollution period (Dec. 5-Jan. 5) so that students do not have to bear the brunt of poor air quality.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints