Damage control: India’s top court bans 10-year old diesel vehicles, 15-year old petrol vehicles in NCR

  • Supreme Court has decided to ban decade-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol vehicles as air quality plummets in the National Capital Region (NCR).
  • The Central Pollution Control Board has been asked to create a social media account immediately for the citizens to raise complaints regarding Delhi’s air pollution so that corrective plans can be initiated by the concerned authorities.
  • The apex court stated that a list of all such vehicles should be published on the CPCB’s website.
As Delhi’s air quality plummets, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday decided to ban the operation of 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol vehicles in the National Capital Region (NCR). The air quality in the NCR has been degrading tremendously and matters are only going to get worse as winter settles in.

Most of the monitoring stations in Delhi recorded ‘severe’ pollution on Monday. The overall Air Quality Index for the National Capital showed 375 in the evening, which was slightly better than 381 on Sunday afternoon. The Supreme Court has asked the transport department to confiscate all those vehicles on the banned list if found on roads.

Considering the current condition of pollution in the Delhi-NCR region, the court also said that the matter should be advertised well in the newspaper and a list of such vehicles should be published on the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website.

Also, the CPCB has been asked to create a social media account on an immediate basis for the citizens to raise complaints related to pollution issues so as the concerned authorities can take remedial actions at the earliest. The SC accorded the Environment Prevention & Control Authority (EPCA) to take preventive steps under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which was proposed to tackle air-pollution in Delhi-NCR region when air quality deteriorates.

The amicus, referring to the note prepared by the EPCA Chairman, contained the details and photographs of garbage burning in several regions across the region including parts of Dwarka, Mundka and Bawana. The bench also referred to the media reports that stated that people should not go on morning walks due to high levels of pollution in the region. In response to the photographs, the bench asked the Delhi Government and Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd to file their affidavits within the next two days.

The Court passed its directives after a note was placed before it by advocate Aparajita Singh, who has been assisting the Court in the air-pollution matters, seeking an urgent corrective plan for the current situation.

In a conversation with Business Standard, Singh stated that the farmers alone shouldn’t be blamed for pollution due to crop burning since the pollution from transport vehicles was recorded to be 41%, as reported by the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The matter has been posted for a hearing on 1 November.

Earlier in 2015, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had also banned the plying of such vehicles on Delhi roads but the court had rejected the plea against the NGT.
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