Dubai transport body goes green

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By Matovu Abdallah Twaha  www.gulftoday.ae

DUBAI: As the Roads and Transport Authority bagged a Special Merit Award for Environmental Commitment at the Middle East Rail Exhibition last week, The Gulf Today spoke to the Director of Strategic Planning, Eng. Nasser Abu Shehab, about the agency’s claim to environmental promotion.

Is the RTA responsible for controlling emission levels from private vehicles in Dubai?

We at the RTA have both the regulatory and the implementation responsibility in relation to transportation environmental issues. The Strategy and Corporate Governance sector is responsible for suggesting, formulating and assessing such policies and regulations in co-ordination with relevant entities while the RTA executive arm, including the Licensing Agency, is responsible for implementing and monitoring vehicle emission standards.

Emission tests form an integral part of vehicle testing procedures that need to be conducted for the purpose of registration and licensing all types of vehicles. In addition, the Licensing Agency has the right to monitor vehicle adherence to emission standards while operating on Dubai roads. This is done in co-ordination with relevant local entities, including Dubai Police and Dubai Municipality.

What is the current acceptable emission standards in Dubai?

Current emission standards which are used to test vehicles for the purpose of registration and licensing basically deal with the measurement of carbon dioxide and hydrocarbon levels.

The current acceptable levels of these emissions are 4.5 per cent and 800 ppm, respectively and are considered to be relaxed.  The UAE is a member in the Kyoto environmental agreement and hence RTA has plans to gradually adopt the more strict Euro 4 and 5 standards.

How is the air pollution being monitored?

Currently air pollution is monitored through the emission tests carried by RTA Licensing Agency at the time of vehicle registration and licensing and by Dubai Municipality via a number of strategically distributed stations within Dubai to measure environmental pollution levels. Field campaigns to check the level of vehicle emissions utilising different tools and equipment are within the RTA’s short-term future plans.

What are the current measures put in place by the RTA in their transport system?

We highly value environmental sustainability. This is clearly reflected in our corporate strategic plan. One of the eight strategic objectives stated in that plan is devoted to “Safety and Environmental Sustainability.”

RTA has attained a number of remarkable environmental achievements which include preparation and release of environment protection policy and environment management system;  preparation of a contracts environmental management plan which aims at reducing the environmental impact of project construction activities; the use of Euro 4 and 5 engines with the highest international environmental standard in all of its new buses. More info