In a significant step to improve ambient air quality, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi.
Noting that diesel is prime source of air pollution in Delhi, the Tribunal said the situation is so alarming that people have been even advised to leave Delhi due to adverse effects on health. “A number of countries like Brazil, China, Denmark etc are in the process or have prohibited diesel vehicles or are in the process of doing away with them and imposing stringent taxes on the vehicles.
“We have already noticed that certain stringent measures need to be taken to ensure that residents of Delhi do not travel closer to ill-health with each breath they take. Thus, we direct all diesel vehicles, heavy or light, which are ten years old will not be permitted on the roads of Delhi and NCR,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The Tribunal directed the Transport department of Delhi government and other concerned authorities to prepare a comprehensive data of registration of all such vehicles which are 10 or more years old. It slammed the authorities for not complying to its orders of November 26, 28 and December 4 last year to better the air quality standards of the capital.
“All authorities and the state have utterly failed to comply to the directions of the Tribunal. Authorities have not even initiated action for compliance. “Due to the increasing pollutants of air, the life of residents of NCR Delhi is becoming more vulnerable to various diseases and the greatest sufferers are young children,” it said.
“It has been pointed out that diesel is the prime source of bringing air pollution in Delhi. Diesel fumes cause damage to the lungs, brain and can cause even cancer. The situation is so alarming that medically people have been even advised to leave Delhi,” the Tribunal said. The Tribunal’s direction came while hearing a petition of Vardhaman Kaushik who had contended that “the level of particulates in Delhi is rising manifold”.