New Delhi: Days after the National Green Tribunal banned Diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi, it has directed the Delhi government to deregister all diesel vehicles that are older than 15 years and are BS-I, BS-II compliant and ruled that no NOC be issued to such vehicles.
Only deregistered diesel vehicles which are less than 15 years old can get No Objection Certificate for plying in select areas outside Delhi-NCR to be decided by states where vehicle density is less, the NGT said today.
"All diesel vehicles which are more than 15 years old and are BS-I, BS-II to be scrapped and no NOC will be issued," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said as it clarified its earlier order directing the Delhi government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are more than 10 years old from plying in the city.
"We make it clear that de-registration of diesel vehicles shall be complied with effectively without any default. However, registration authorities are directed to start the process with reference to oldest vehicles first, that is, diesel vehicles which are 15-year-old should be de-registered first," the bench said.
The bench also clarified that all deregistered vehicles which are less than 15 years old will not be allowed to ply in Delhi NCR and the authorities will issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to them so that they can be registered in some other places where vehicle density is less.
The green panel asked the states to identify areas where dispersion of air is higher and vehicle density is less.
The bench said that the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Delhi will issue NOC only for those areas which have been identified by the states.
The bench asked the Ministry of Heavy Industries to take a panel view with regard to scrapping of vehicles and the benefits associated with it which would be provided to persons who opt for such a policy. It also asked Delhi Government to respond on the issue of capping of vehicles.
The Delhi Development Authority was asked by the bench to provide space to Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Traffic Police for parking of deregistered diesel vehicles including the impounded ones.
The NGT asked the Delhi Government to take immediate steps to improve and strengthen public transport system and introduce buses which are CNG, hybrid or electric ones.
Earlier, the NGT had on July 18 directed the Delhi government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are more than 10-year-old from plying in the city.
The bench had ordered the RTO of the Transport Department in Delhi, that after de-registration, it will issue public notice in this regard and supply the list of such vehicles to Delhi Traffic Police which will take appropriate steps in consonance with directions of the tribunal.
The tribunal had said that even during odd-even scheme initiated by the Delhi government, the ambient air quality did not improve and in fact, the parameters remained on the higher side more than the permissible limits.
It had passed the order after noting submissions of Delhi Police that it has made continuous attempts to stop vehicles which were more than 10 years old from plying on the roads of the national capital.
Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand and advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for Ministry of Heavy Industries, had said that tribunal should not impose such a "harsh" order as it would adversely affect the automobile sector and the economy.
With regard to pollution from other sources like dust pollution, emissions from burning of plastic and other waste materials, the bench had directed Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi government to file status report on the issue.
The NGT had taken Delhi government to task for its failure to implement its order banning such vehicles from plying on the roads and slammed the government over incidents of waste burning and dust pollution in the national capital.
The tribunal had on April 7, 2015 held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
On November 26, 2014, it had banned plying of all diesel or petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old.
While the NGT, on April 7, 2015, banned diesel vehicles older than 10 years from plying on the roads, the Supreme Court in December, 2015 banned registration of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of over 2000 cc. In May this year, the top court reiterated that diesel taxis would eventually have “to go”.
Last April, the NGT banned all diesel vehicles older than 10 years from the city. In 2014, the green court said all – diesel and petrol -- vehicles more than 15 years old won’t be permitted to run on city roads.
But despite the orders, older cars continued to ply on Delhi’s roads with the city government saying it didn’t have the jurisdiction to ban old vehicles.
Diesel has been termed a dirty fuel for the hazardous fumes it emits on combustion. The exhaust can cause cancer and worsen existing allergies and conditions like asthma and irritation in the nose and lung tissue.
In May, The NGT banned light and heavy diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, in six major cities, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial capital Kochi, in Kerala.
"All the diesel vehicles whether light or heavy which are more than 10 years shall not be permitted to ply on the roads in the major cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur," the Bench said in its order.
(With PTI inputs)