Environmentalists welcomed the National Green Tribunal’s decision to ban old vehicles, but said the emphasis should also be on curbing pollution from any vehicle irrespective of its age.
As per a 2010 Delhi government report, almost 94 per cent of the vehicles are privately owned. Experts have said that the immediate impact of the NGT’s order will not necessarily be visible since most of the vehicles currently plying in Delhi are less than 15 years old.
“The problem of polluting emissions can’t simply be restricted to vehicles which are of a certain age. A 5-year-old car can be much more polluting than a 10-year-old car, if it’s not maintained properly. It is important for stringent on-road inspections to take place wherein visibly polluting vehicles should be fined,” Anumita Roychowdhury, Centre for Science and Environment, said.
“The biggest problem with cars is that their owners won’t maintain them. The older the car gets, the more important it becomes to check vehicular emissions,” an official from the environment department said.
According to environmentalists, while the NGT recommended a slew of measures for curbing air pollution, many of the measures — such as the ban on burning plastic material or limiting the passage of interstate truck traffic in Delhi — have been in place for years.
Officials also said participating states of NCR need to be roped in to curb vehicular pollution in Delhi. In this regard, the Delhi government said they had written to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in April stating the need to include NCR to combat air pollution in Delhi.
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