Under several new initiatives led by the government, the focus is on making all official procedures digitised, so as to save time and effort of the citizens of the country, as well as the government officials. One of them has been a key movement led by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) with the launch of their Parivahan Sewa portal. This online portal serves as a digitised database for all the vehicles in the country. So far, the portal has information of more than 28 crore vehicles in the country. Through this portal, users can check and verify various details such as their RC status, blacklist status, or whether they have any pending fines to pay. Moreover, they can also perform tasks such as e-challan download, verify their challan status and check their vehicle registration information. But in the case of a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate, vehicle owners had to go to an emission test centre and procure a valid PUC certificate manually in a span of every 6 months.

In a country rampant with corruption, manually obtaining a Pollution Under Control certificate had its downfalls. People tended to pay extra money to the emission test centres to get a PUC certificate issued to their vehicle that illegally showed the emission rate to be within the permissible safe limits, in case the actual readings came out on the higher side of the scale. Along with that, some people ended up procuring a PUC certificate without even having their vehicle in the vicinity of the emission test centre, simply by offering a hefty bribe. This routine was turning out to be harmful in more ways than one. Not only was it propagating corruption, it was also detrimental to the already rising air pollution levels, since vehicles were not following the emission standards. Therefore, to put a stop to it, the government has decided to digitise this process as well, by having the emission rate of each vehicle being registered in their online database, post which the vehicle will receive the PUC certificate.

The process is simple if your vehicle is already registered on the government’s online database. If your vehicle was registered before the year 2010, you would first have to get the registrar at the emission test centre to register your vehicle on the database by providing a copy of your registration certificate or your valid insurance certificate. Once your vehicle is registered, the emission levels of your vehicle will be recorded and fed into the Vahan database. Based on that, you will receive a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate. With this information getting digitised, people can now perform a PUC certificate check online as well, instead of running back to the emission test centres and/or petrol stations. Along with this, it will ensure that corruption will be greatly avoided since the vehicle and its owner would have to be physically present to obtain the certificate, and that there can be no instance of tampering with the data, since all information is directly being fed into the database on a real-time basis.