If you own a diesel powered BS4 car or SUV, you can no longer use Delhi-NCR roads, as per an order from the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM). The CAQM held an emergency meeting yesterday and implemented Stage 4 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The Air Quality Index in Delhi read at an average of 458 yesterday, which falls in the ‘Severe Plus’ category. Under this category, all BS4 diesel vehicles (both commercial and private) are banned from Delhi-NCR roads until further orders from the CAQM. However, BS6 compliant vehicles – both petrol and diesel – can be used on Delhi roads.
Here’s what the official CAQM order read,
To prevent further deterioration of air quality due to unfavourable meteorological conditions, the GRAP Sub-Committee decides to invoke Stage IV – ‘Severe+’ GRAP category in the entire NCR with immediate effect. These restrictions are in addition to the restrictive actions mentioned in Stage I, Stage II and Stage III of GRAP. Stage IV – ‘Severe+’ Air Quality to primarily focus on vehicle restrictions including entry of commercial trucks into Delhi, diesel commercial vehicles for intra-Delhi movements and non—BS VI passenger vans, LMVs in Delhi. Various agencies responsible for implementing measures under GRAP and Pollution Control Boards (PCBs) of NCR and DPCC have also been advised to ensure strict implementation of actions of Stage IV under GRAP during this period. The CAQM appeals to the citizens of NCR to cooperate in implementing GRAP and follow the steps mentioned in the Citizen Charter under GRAP. Children, elderly and those with respiratory, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular or other chronic diseases to avoid outdoor activities and stay indoors, as much as possible.
The new ban on diesel is different from the old ban!
According to the old ban ordered by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), diesel cars that are over 10 years of age are banned permanently from Delhi-NCR roads, and the same ban applies to petrol cars that are over 15 years old. Under the old ban, diesel and petrol vehicles have to be scrapped when they turn 10 or 15 years respectively. Alternatively, owners will have to sell these vehicles to people from other states of India before the vehicles hit the banned age.
The new ban is different…
According to the new ban under the GRAP’s Stage 4, BS4 diesel vehicles are only banned from Delhi-NCR roads until further notice. Once air quality in Delhi-NCR improves, the CAQM will remove the restrictions on plying BS4 diesel vehicles on Delhi-NCR roads. Once the CAQM lifts the ban on BS4 diesel vehicles, these vehicles can be run on Delhi-NCR roads until they turn 10 years old.
GRAP stages are based on Air Quality Index
According to GRAP, air quality in Delhi-NCR is classified under four different stages: Stage I – ‘Poor’ (AQI 201-300); Stage II – ‘Very Poor’ (AQI 301-400); Stage III – ‘Severe’ (AQI 401-450); and Stage IV – ‘Severe Plus’ (AQI >450). Until the air quality index does not fall to Stage 1 or below, it’s unlikely that BS4 diesels will be allowed to enter Delhi.