The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on diesel-run vehicles in Delhi. The Green Tribunal has said that no new diesel vehicle can be registered in Delhi. Not just that, it has also asked the Centre and the Delhi government not to buy any diesel vehicles. The Tribunal has also said that diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old, cannot renew their registration.
“In view of serious contribution of vehicular pollution to air quality of NCT Delhi, it is important that the government should take a serious view and a decision whether any diesel vehicle, old or new, should be registered in Delhi….As an interim measure and subject to hearing all parties in the case, we direct that diesel vehicles which are more than 10-year old and new diesel vehicles would not be registered in Delhi,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
This drastic measure by the Green Tribunal comes just a few days after the Delhi High Court pulled up the state government in Delhi over the alarming pollution levels, even likening the national capital to a ‘gas chamber’. Post the High Court’s rap, the Delhi government announced that private vehicles bearing odd and even registration numbers will be restricted to alternate days. This new measure is slated to begin on January 1, 2016.
On Friday, the green panel also questioned the new odd-even formula. The panel said that the odd-even measure may not achieve the desired purpose of checking pollution as it may “encourage” people in Delhi to buy two cars.
The Tribunal noted that diesel was the prime source of air pollution in Delhi. It also said the pollution was so high that some people were being advised to leave Delhi due to adverse effects on health.
Interestingly, the NGT has cracked the whip on diesel vehicles at a time when the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking a complete ban on diesel cars in Delhi and other cities. The case is scheduled to come up before the SC on December 15.
Earlier, on April 7 this year, the green panel had held that all diesel vehicles which were more than 10 years old would not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
Before that in November 2014, the panel had banned all vehicles which were more than 15 years old in the city.
Reports say that 23 per cent of the cars registered in Delhi are diesel. And these diesel cars can legally emit 7.5 times more particulate matter than their petrol counterparts.
(With inputs from PTI)