Twin Attacks

Sri Lanka is planning to ban the import of two-stroke engine vehicles widely used here in a bid to reduce pollution, the transport secretary said. Sri Lanka is planning to ban the import of two-stroke engine vehicles widely used here in a bid to reduce pollution, the transport secretary said. The move would largely affect the Indian-made three-wheel scooters which are popularly used as taxis.

The vehicles spewed out unburned fuel and contributed to respiratory problems, especially among children, transport secretary Don Jayaweera said.

The government however had no objection however to the importation of slightly more expensive four-stroke variant, Jayaweera said.

Transport ministry officials noted that India itself had banned two-stroke trishaws from major cities where a conversion to compressed natural gas resulted in an improvement in air quality.

Jayaweera said there were about 200,000 trishaws operating on the island and 90 percent of those were blue-smoke emitting, two-stroke powered vehicles.

“We are not going to touch the existing fleet. It is going to be a question of maintaining that fleet for the time being,” Jayaweer