After a 10-year-old diesel car ban in the Delhi-NCR, close to 1 lakh diesel car owners may face a complete ban in the same region. The authorities on Wednesday revealed a plan with a revision to the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to fight air pollution. It includes a direction to the authorities to stop a select few diesel cars, SUVs and trucks from entering Delhi and NCR.
The government could ban BS4 diesel cars, which means all diesel cars bought before April 2020 will come under the ban. There are about 10 million registered vehicles in the national capital. Out of all the vehicles, 1.12 million cars comply with the Bharat Stage – 4 norms that were in effect before the Bharat Stage – 6 norms.
While the improved pollution norms ensure cleaner exhaust fumes, diesel vehicles typically emit higher amounts of NOx or Nitrogen Oxide compounds that have a significant impact on health. In diesel vehicles that conform to the BS6 standards, the amount of NOx is about one-third compared to the BS4 standard cars.
Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM), which is responsible to update the GRAP has allowed the NCR states to ban the use of BS-III and BS-IV diesel cars in the third stage of the curbs. The states will have the power to ban such vehicles in the projected AQI is expected to go beyond 400.
While the new policy is still in the draft stages, a senior official told HT that the government will hold a meeting to discuss the implementation of the new GRAP measures soon. However, there is no time mentioned for the same.
Residents not happy
The residents around the region were not happy with the news. BS Vohra, RWA President in Delhi said,
No doubt stringent measures must be taken in Delhi-NCR during severe and severe+ AQI situations. But seems the commission itself does not have any trust on the pollution under control (PUC) test certificates being issued in Delhi NCR. If the PUC certificates can’t be relied on, why are people forced to stand in long queues at regular intervals to get a PUC done? If PUC can’t be trusted, why is the government making huge collections every year from crores of vehicles? Instead of putting up a ban or restriction on vehicles, can’t they make the PUC tests more trustworthy,
The authorities have already banned 10-year-old diesel cars from the Delhi-NCR. The rule of the National Green Tribunal states that the use of 10-year-old diesel-powered and 15-year-old petrol-powered cars is not allowed in New Delhi. To ensure that this rule is strictly followed, all the registering authorities and RTO offices in New Delhi can issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the transfer of such older vehicles to other states, where this rule is not in effect as of now.