January 18 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is banning the import of three-wheeler taxis that use two-stroke piston engines from next year, to reduce pollution in urban areas, a senior minister said. Two stroke engines emit particles and unburnt hydrocarbons that are polluting the environment,â€ Information Minister Anura Yapa said.
The air-quality in Colombo has deteriorated with particulate matter sometimes exceeding 50 micrograms per cubic meter, which is the limit set by the World Health Organization,â€ he added.
Yapa says four-stroke engined three-wheelers cost a mere 4 percent more than a two-stroke engined one.
The government says Sri Lanka has 280,000 three-wheelers on its roads, and 40,000 are added each year.
From 2011 spare parts imports for two-stroke engines would also be banned.
Three wheelers, are widely used as taxis around the country.
The Indian-made Bajaj brand imported by David Pieris Motor Company has cornered almost the entirely of the market.