Ban diesel vehicles in 2 phases: NGT

End of the road:The National Green Tribunal’s move is aimed at reducing the capital's deadly air pollution.— Photo: AP  

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered de-registration of diesel vehicles in the Capital in two phases, with those older than 15 years going first. The order comes days after the green court directed the Delhi Regional Transport Office to de-register all diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old.

“All diesel vehicles which are more than 15 years old and are BS-I, BS-II shall be scrapped and no NOC for transfer of such vehicles will be issued. We make it clear that de-registration of diesel vehicles shall be complied with effectively without any default,” said the NGT Bench.

Centre’s plea

The clarification came after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand and counsel Balendu Shekhar, appearing for the Ministry of Heavy Industries, told the Bench that the food supply chain had been affected by the tribunal’s order.

“I am appearing for people of Delhi who have been hit by the NGT order. Essential services in the Capital have been severely affected leading to massive chaos from all corners,” the ASG said.

To this, the Bench said: “Has the Centre or the Delhi government made a single effort to resolve the diesel ban issue with transport associations?”

National permit

Commercial diesel vehicles that are more than 10 years old would not be allowed inside Delhi, but would be allowed to bypass it if they had a national permit.

This order follows the court’s direction earlier this week asking the Delhi Government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles that are more than 10 years old from plying in the city.

The tribunal had directed the Delhi Development Authority to provide space to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and the Delhi Police for parking of de-registered vehicles.

It had also questioned the Central Government as to what scrapping benefit would it provide to the owners whose cars were being impounded and scrapped.

Only de-registered diesel vehicles which were less than 15 years old could get NOC for plying in select areas outside Delhi-NCR to be decided by the States where vehicle density was less.

Imposition of fine

The NGT also said the polluting diesel vehicles should be fined under the Motor Vehicles Act with the fine amount being Rs. 2,000 or more.

The court maintained that the odd-even scheme hardly improved the Delhi-NCR region’s air quality.

“Moreover, the number of impounded old diesel vehicles have increased drastically and experts have accepted the fact that diesel vehicles pollute more than other sources,” the Bench noted.

‘Share the data’

Meanwhile, earlier this month, the Supreme Court demanded that the Delhi government share the data on the number of diesel vehicles, older than 10 years, and petrol vehicles, older than 15 years, that were impounded by the RTO in the past one year. The Delhi government replied that the Delhi RTO had impounded around 3,000 vehicles in the past one year, but had been released since then.