Georgia to Tighten Car Emission Control

A new draft law, laying out new amendments for car owners, has been reviewed at the Government’s Meeting on December 3rd.

A new study exposed car emissions as the main factor in air pollution in Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi, which is a cause of major concern for citizen health.

“In several cities, including Tbilisi, a study of air samples has shown that the main polluting source of air is automobiles. This mainly depends on the overdue vehicle park, together of the poor quality of fuel and consistence of toxic gases in the emissions, which is the result of incomplete combustion,” said Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection.

According to Agulashvili, one of the main causes for this is ordinary citizens removing and selling the catalytic converters from their cars. Catalytic converters are one of the most important parts of a car’s emissions control system as it converts harmful pollutants into less harmful emissions before they leave the car’s exhaust system.

The Environmental Minister highlighted current data, which shows that air quality indicators in some districts of Tbilisi meet the medium level of euro standards. To improve the situation, “we need to take steps to change our vehicle park,” he added.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also supports to the initiative and emphasized that, in terms of ecology in Tbilisi, “we have a disaster”.

“I hear a lot of complaints from very angry people about the lack of catalytic converters used in cars moving in the city. I would also like to ask you to control the quality of fuel,” Garibashvili told the members of the Government.

The Prime Minister also announced that in order to increase availability of catalytic converters, companies selling them are asked to install them a well. Mandatory insurance of cars, including technical inspection, will be introduced in the near future.

“Of course, this process will take time and we will not ask people do it right now,” Garibasvili said at the Government Meeting. “We will develop a plan which will be presented in the near future to the public, but before that, we suggest you conduct a survey of public opinions and understand what the citizens’ approach is to this issue.”

The announcement to restrict car related air pollutants comes alongside that of a new draft law presented by the Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili prohibiting the registration of right-hand drive vehicles.

Tamar Svanidze

03 December 2015 21:17