As the pollution level worsened following Diwali, the Delhi government banned the entry of heavy-and medium-goods vehicles into the national capital. The Delhi transport department has also appealed to private diesel vehicle owners, asking them to avoid using them for the duration of the ban.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), which is the nodal agency for collecting toll said all such vehicles will be banned for three days, starting from 11 pm on Thursday.
The entry of heavy-and medium-goods vehicles in the national capital will be banned from 11 pm on November 8 till 11pm on November 11, said special commissioner, transport department, K K Dahiya. However, vehicles carrying vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, eggs, ice etc that will be used as food items, and tankers carrying petroleum products will be exempted from the ban, as per the notification.
The notification has been issued in compliance with the direction of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA). Traffic police and municipal corporations had been directed to enforce the ban.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Alok Kumar, said adequate deployment of police personnel has been done at all border entry points to ensure that banned vehicles are restricted from entering Delhi.
“Support from police of neighbouring districts of Delhi-NCR has also been sought to ensure smooth and hassle-free movement of other motorists during this period,” Kumar said.
Vehicles enroute to other destinations have been directed to take the Eastern Peripheral Expressway instead of entering Delhi, he added.
A senior SDMC official said that as per EPCA directions, the ban on entry of trucks carrying non-essential commodities in Delhi will be strictly enforced.
Over 50,000 goods’ carriers enter Delhi, mostly through 13 toll points managed by the civic body, from where 90 per cent of the vehicles enter Delhi. There are many less-used entry points from neighbouring Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as well, the official added.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon Police directed all SHOs on Thursday to ensure the EPCA directions are complied with and all such vehicles are diverted.
“Due to the Supreme Court orders, no trucks can enter the capital from 11 pm Thursday, and a traffic jam may be caused at the border as we try to enforce this order,” warned Subhash Boken, PRO of Gurgaon Police.
Vehicle owners and drivers have also been requested to not park their vehicles at borders to avoid creating congestion. Civic authorities also sprinkled water on streets across Delhi on Thursday to help the dust settle. The measure is part of the Graded Response Action Plan.
Last year, during a ban on the entry of trucks, chaos ensued at the borders as hundreds of trucks had reached there, creating a massive traffic jam. Most of the drivers The Indian Express had spoken to had said that while they supported the measures taken to contain pollution, they should have been informed of the decision in advance.