Govt extends ban on non-BS6 Diesel, BS3 Petrol cars in Delhi-NCR: Violators face Rs. 20,000 fine

The Delhi government has extended the ban on non-BS6 diesel cars and BS3 petrol cars in the Delhi-NCR upto the 13th of November, 2023. The extension in ban on non-BS6 diesel and BS3 petrol cars comes days after the ban was momentarily lifted as air quality showed some improvement. Now though, the ban has been brought back in view of deteriorating air quality in the Delhi-NCR. Violators will be fined Rs. 20,000.

Govt extends ban on non-BS6 Diesel, BS3 Petrol cars in Delhi-NCR: Violators face Rs. 20,000 fine

However, there are no restrictions on diesel trucks entering the Delhi NCR. Furthermore, emergency vehicles, vehicles supplying essential goods, and vehicles used for government and election work. Gopal Rai, the transport minister in the Government of Delhi, had this to say about the extension of the ban on non-BS6 diesel and BS3 petrol cars,

BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in Delhi will remain banned under Stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). 

The ban was originally put into place under the Graded Action Response Plan (GRAP), which mandated that non-BS6 diesel and BS3 petrol vehicles be banned from Delhi-NCR roads when air quality hit the ‘Severe’ category (AQI above 450). The guidelines for GRAP were put into place by a team of experts constituting the Center for Air Quality Management (CAQM).

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 non-BS6 diesels and BS3 petrol cars will be allowed to enter Delhi.

The extension on the ban was confirmed by the CAQM with the following statement,

As per the directions provided under Stage III of revised GRAP, there will be a restriction to ply BS- III petrol and BS- IV diesel light motor vehicles (four-wheelers) in the jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi. The above directions will remain enforced till November 13 or downward revision in the GRAP stage, whichever is earlier. The restrictions will continue beyond November 13, if CAQM (Centre for Air Quality Management) orders GRAP-III and above restrictions. If any BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel LMVs are found plying on roads, they will be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988. 

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been battling extremely poor air quality levels bordering on hazardous due to stubble burning in adjoining states of Punjab and Haryana. Stubble burning by farmers for re-cropping is a yearly phenomenon that shows no signs of abating despite governments promising to end this highly polluting act. While private vehicles contribute a fraction of the air pollution in comparison to say stubble burning or even construction and allied industrial activities, governments often target private vehicle owners as it’s easy to get them to comply.