Green court bans diesel vehicles in Delhi

Green court bans diesel vehicles in Delhi

If you have been planning to buy a diesel car, don’t. Stepping up the fight against pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday ordered that diesel-run vehicles will not be registered in Delhi anymore, with immediate effect.

If you have been planning to buy a diesel car, don’t. Stepping up the fight against pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday ordered that diesel-run vehicles will not be registered in Delhi anymore, with immediate effect.

Over 23 per cent of the cars on Delhi roads run on diesel. In absolute numbers, these amount to 5.71 lakh compared to 19.54 lakh petrol cars. A sizeable, though unestimated, chunk of the 5.71 lakh includes the official Ambassador cars that belong to various government departments.

In April 2015, the NGT had held that diesel vehicles, aged above 10 years, would not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR. The-then commissioner of Delhi Transport Department, Gyanesh Bharti, had stated that at least 29 lakh vehicles that were over 15 years of age ply in Delhi and that the authorities have no place to impound and stock them at one time.

Importantly, the NGT bench headed by Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also cast doubts on the AAP government’s ‘odd-even car’ scheme to reign in nose-diving air quality levels that is supposed to come into effect from January 1. “We do appreciate that it’s a good step,” said Justice Kumar. “(But) taken in isolation, will it serve the end which you are trying to achieve and what others steps are you going to take?” he asked.

Environmental think-tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), meanwhile, welcomed the move to ban new diesel vehicles in the city. Researcher-scientist Polash Mukerjee said, “Diesel was never meant for private cars. It’s a fuel only suited for long-distance transport of goods such as fruits, grains etc and for generator sets. It was basically meant for the industry. The whole convention of bringing in diesel cars was highly faulty and dangerous.”

He underlined, “The European Union also experimented with diesel in the 90s, but they soon realised that there is a trade-off between carbon dioxide (Co2) and nitrogen oxides (Nox) in diesel usage. While diesel produces lesser Co2, which has global warming effects and impacts human health indirectly, it produces much higher Nox that is straight up cancerous.”

New scheme

“The odd-even scheme, which you are proposing to implement, what consequences is it going to have on traffic and pollution? It may even encourage people to buy new cars, we have to prevent that. There are reports that you are going to make exemptions. We don’t know what the exact status is. We would like you to give us a definite proposal on the odd-even formula,” said the NGT bench.

On NGT’s aspersions over the proposed ‘odd-even car’ scheme, Mukherjee said, “In February this year, we had submitted a 12-point ‘Delhi Clean Air Action Plan’ to CM Arvind Kejriwal. Unfortunately, they have picked up only one recommendation from the plan, the ‘odd-even car’ formula’. Continued from page 1 However, we still applaud it as we know that it requires tremendous political will power. ”

The bench also observed, “It is undisputed that there are three prime sources of pollution in Delhi-NCR – burning of municipal solid waste and other waste, dust generated by construction and allied activities and vehicular pollution. The directions already issued (by NGT), if implemented, simultaneously with the odd-even scheme, would make it more effective and result-oriented. ” On not registering, thereby, disallowing any new diesel cars in Delhi, the bench said, “This is an interim measure till next date of posting (January 6) subject to hearing of all concerned parties.”

The Delhi government told NGT that around 1,300 to 1,400 vehicles are being registered at all Regional Transport Offices every day. These include heavy, light and two-wheelers. And just as many vehicles are also being registered at Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad and Noida, the NGT noted.

[“source -livemint”]