A transporters’ body has opposed the Delhi government’s decision to ban certain vehicles from entering the capital in a bid to control pollution, saying it will severely impact businesses in the season of festivals and weddings.
The All India Motor Transport Congress alleged that the Delhi government has since 2015 charged over ₹1,350 crore as ‘green tax’ from trucks entering Delhi, but only spent less than one-fourth of it to reduce pollution in the capital.
The organisation said it will consider launching an agitation against the Delhi government if it does not revoke the order.
The AIMTC statement comes after the Delhi government decided to implement anti-pollution curbs as recommended by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
The restrictions include a ban on non-BS VI diesel-run light motor vehicles and diesel medium and heavy goods vehicles, except those carrying essential commodities and providing essential services.
However, all CNG and electric trucks will be allowed to enter Delhi, according to an order by the transport department.
According to AIMTC chairman K. S. Atwal, the Delhi government has collected ₹1,355 crore as green tax in seven years in a bid to curb pollution.
“However, it has used only around 290 crore (21%), and that too in non-productive activities,” he alleged.
Mr. Atwal claimed that the ban has hit the transport sector hard and around 150 trucks loaded with goods are found parked at the borders.
“This number will increase manifold in the coming days as around 1,000 trucks from far off places like Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are en route to Delhi,” he said.
Mr. Atwal cautioned that the ban will create shortage of various goods in the national capital, due to which their prices will shoot up because of an imbalance in demand and supply.
He said electric- and CNG-powered trucks cannot run long distances and demanded that the ban on commercial diesel vehicles be lifted immediately.
“The ban will adversely affect businesses in Delhi, particularly at a time when these months are good due to festivals and weddings,” he said.
Mr. Atwal said AIMTC has called a meeting of the transport fraternity this week to chalk out the future plan of action.