Centre favours ban on 15-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR

Centre favours ban on 15-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR

The Centre today told National Green Tribunal that it favours banning of all diesel vehicles, which are more than 15 years from plying in Delhi-NCR.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that "all diesel transport vehicles, on attaining 15 years should be banned from plying in Delhi and NCR", which has also been ordered by the Supreme Court earlier.

"Atleast, you agree something should be banned. That's so nice...

"Supreme Court orders are kept in almirah for archive purposes. SC had thought of this ban years ago but the government opposed it," the bench remarked and asked the Delhi government to submit its stand on this issue.

The ministry said that contribution of private vehicles towards PM 2.5 is insignificant and gave data on its levels in RK Puram which said that on Sundays or holidays despite traffic being very low the Particulate Matter at 2.5 level remained high.

The bench then said, "R K Puram is no area to have pollution analysis. It is one of the best parts of Delhi".

"As per studies in 'Benchmarking vehicles and passenger travel characteristics in Delhi for on road emission analysis' (2015) and 'Assessment of motor vehicles used characteristics in three Indian cities' (2014) by Prof Dinesh Mohan, Dr Sarath Guttikunda, Geetam Tiwari an Rahul Goel, the actual number of cars on the roads in Delhi is about half the official registered number.

"A survey on the age profile of cars in Delhi shows that cars above 15 years contribute only 1 per cent and cars between 11-15 years old only 6 per cent of the traffic on the roads. Therefore, any emission calculations based on official number of vehicles will overestimate the pollution load from traffic," the ministry said.

The ministry further said that "in order to maintain stricter emission norms in NCR, diesel private vehicles on attaining 10 years, be mandated to obtain PUC certificate after every 6 months including BS IV compliant vehicles and in case of diesel transport vehicles, PUC may be obtained after every six months.

Ministry of Road Transport also suggested that the Transport Departments of Delhi and other states in NCR should check the authenticity of PUC Certificate issued by authorized agencies by utilizing the scientific random sampling process, with reasonable sample size to keep the probability of errors within limits.

"All states in NCR to ensure that all Petrol Stations, Vehicle Service Centre and Workshops be equipped with pollution checking and certifying testing units as far as possible," it said.
On the issue of plying of vintage cars, the bench said, "We will consider the case of vintage cars. We will take it up separately," the bench said.

The ministry had moved the Tribunal seeking stay of its ban orders on 15-yr-old petrol and 10-yr-old diesel vehicles on the ground that it would affect public and essential services and sought six months time for suggesting measures to combat air pollution.

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