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Diesel vehicles aged 10 years or more to be de-registered

  • The final verdict has arrived it seems. The dreaded ban on the diesel vehicles will finally be put into effect. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed the Delhi government’s transport department to deregister diesel vehicles that are more than 10 years old.

    The order came after complaints of non-implementation of NGT’s order of April 2015, wherein it had banned diesel vehicles that were over 10 years old from plying on the roads of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).

    A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar directed Delhi’s regional transport offices (RTOs) to give a list of deregistered vehicles to the city traffic police which, in turn, would act against them under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

    “We are of the considered view that there is no occasion for the tribunal to set aside the April 7, 2015 order which prohibited plying of diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old on the roads in Delhi-NCR... we hereby direct RTO Delhi to deregister all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old,” said the bench.

    The bench said it had been told that the traffic police had tried to stop old diesel vehicles from plying, but its efforts had met with little success because the vehicles that were fined or impounded managed to return to the roads.

    The tribunal asked RTOs and the Delhi traffic police to issue public notices of its order.

    As of 2014, Delhi had 89 lakh registered passenger vehicles. Of these, there are around 2.2 lakh diesel passenger vehicles and 1.7 lakh commercial vehicles that are over 10 years old, according to industry estimates.

    According to an affidavit filed by the government before the Supreme Court in 2015, diesel-powered vehicles accounted for over 90% of sports utility vehicles in India, 34% of small cars and 70% of large and medium cars.

    In November 2014, the NGT had ordered all vehicles that are more than 15 years old from plying on Delhi’s roads.

    The bench also took up the issue of noise pollution from vehicles in the capital and directed that “no vehicles of any kind” plying in Delhi will be permitted to use air pressure horns or horns not fixed by the manufacturer of the vehicles.

    “Unthoughtful use of horns by car drivers, and particularly use of pressure horns by trucks and other heavy vehicles, are a source of serious noise pollution in Delhi. Even the sound of vehicles is a source of noise pollution, particularly the DTC (Delhi Transport Corp.) buses. All concerned authorities need to pay attention,” said justice Kumar.

    “Even two-wheelers that are using pressure horns or who have removed silencers should not be permitted to ply on Delhi roads,” he added.
    He asked the Union environment ministry to submit a detailed affidavit suggesting ways to curb noise pollution.

    The bench also noted that it had previously issued orders to curb pollution from dust and burning of waste.
     

    OUR TAKE

    6.5% of all vehicles in Delhi are diesel vehicles aged 10 years or more. That might seem a small percentage. But in the bigger scheme of things, the ban would help reduce the pollution problems. Though it is evident that the government cannot please everyone with this decision. The automobiles industry has termed it “impractical”. Yes, it would create problems for some. But as a whole, the decision would only benefit the citizens of Delhi.


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