Start de-registering diesel vehicles that are older than 10 years, says NGT
The story so far: Delhi is currently the epicenter of the diesel car vs. pollution crisis. The state government has been trying to come up with initiatives to try and reduce vehicular pollution (odd/even scheme). The NGT (National Green Tribunal) had earlier imposed a ban on all diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc from being registered in Delhi NCR. They had also stated that any diesel car more than 10 years old and petrol one older than 15 years would not be allowed to ply in the region. There was no strict action on that front however, till now.
Today: In a blow to all diesel vehicle owners of Delhi, the NGT has issued an order to start de-registering diesel vehicles older than 10 years. This is to stop them from plying on Delhi’s roads with immediate effect. The tribunal ordered the RTO to provide the traffic police with a list of vehicles that are older than 10 years so that action can be taken.
Impact: Other states may soon follow suit. Owners of older diesel vehicles in Delhi will need to buy new ones – effective lifetime of their vehicles have been cut short. Resale prices of used diesel vehicles have been dipping for a while, and will dip further. Sales of new diesel vehicles has been steadily dipping for the last one year. That drop would accelerate now, inconveniencing the industry. Senior citizens, who own older diesel vehicles, will soon have to either go car-less or scrounge together the money to purchase new ones.
In a bid to improve air quality, the NGT had banned older vehicles from plying on Delhi’s roads in April last year. During the hearing last week, the bench asked the Delhi government how many old cars had been impounded in the last year. The Delhi transport department in a reply said that around 3,000 old petrol (15 years) and diesel (10 years) vehicles were impounded last year but were later let go. The state government also added that under the MVA (Motor Vehicles Act), only the RTOs had the authority to de-register the older vehicles and that it didn’t not fall under the jurisdiction of the state government. In reply to that, the bench said that it would soon pass an appropriate order on how the phasing out shall take place.
The tribunal further said that it won’t pass ban orders on diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc.
On a side note, data from a government affidavit filed with the Supreme Court shows that the whole premise of banning diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc isn’t justified. The data below shows that engine size has nothing to do with the pollution levels. The way the engine is built and its quality decide the emissions emitted. The below graphic shows how SUVs above the 2,000 cc engine limit are well within the permissible limits for all emissions.