Sat, 05 Mar 2005

Bekasi motorists fail spot emission checks

Wahyuana, The Jakarta Post/Bekasi

More than 50 percent of diesel-fueled private vehicles and 40 percent of gasoline-fueled ones in Bekasi failed to pass an emissions test.

The data comes after two-day spot checks on Jl. Ahmad Yani, Bekasi, involving 111 private vehicles on Wednesday and another 121 on Thursday, all of which actually have a sticker showing that they "passed" the emissions test.

The Bekasi transportation agency revealed on Thursday that most cars were far in excess of the emissions acceptability standards in terms of carbon monoxide and other pollutants.

"Although so many cars do not meet the standards, we don't punish them ... We only advise them to improve," Wawan Suwandi, head of the agency's vehicle check unit, told The Jakarta Post.

The national standard, set in a State Minister of the Environment decree issued in 1993, regulates that gasoline-fueled cars can emit a maximum of 4.5 percent of carbon monoxide (CO) and 2,400 ppm of Hydrocarbons (HC). Diesel-fueled cars' smoke opacity is limited to 25 percent.

The Greater Jakarta administrations, which include Bekasi, have applied tougher standards compared to the national standard.

The revised standard applied since January 2004, requires vehicles with injection systems to be below 2 percent CO and 600 ppm of HC.

According to the official, 70 percent of air pollution in the budding industrial town of Bekasi is contributed by vehicle emissions, while the remaining 30 percent is produced by businesses.

Donny, a motorist who failed the check, said that he did not know that he had to have his vehicle regularly checked. "I'm grateful that the administration did a test on my old car. I'm told I need to have the carburetor repaired."