The National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order to ban diesel vehicles (private or commercial) more than 10 years old from plying on Delhi-NCR roads is likely to affect about 20,800 vehicles in Ghaziabad alone.
The major impact of this ban is likely to be borne by farmers of Ghaziabad as nearly 8,129 tractors, registered under the agricultural category, will be directly affected.
Choking on toxic air, Ghaziabad has seen a high level of PM10 and PM2.5 levels that have been worsened by industrial, vehicular and construction-related pollution.
According to official statistics of the rregional transport department, about 20,886 vehicles of all categories will have to be phased out due to the NGT order. This includes 8,129 tractors (agriculture), 4,079 light goods vehicles, 3,134 heavy goods vehicles (like trucks), 257 buses, around 600 cars, and another 1,357 medium category goods vehicles.
The ban has come as a major concern for farmers of Ghaziabad who are already overburdened and are in a bad financial state due to the recent destruction of their crops caused by rain and hailstorm.
“Once our tractors are phased out, we will have to fall back on alternative means of farming and transportation, which will mean putting in more money,” said Arun Tyagi, a farmer from Modi Nagar.
The Regional Transport Office is yet to receive the NGT order but its officials said the implementation would start immediately.
“We will issue notice to vehicle owners to move such vehicles out of the NCR-region or park them at home. The enforcement department will look into the implementation of the ban and seize any vehicle that flouts rules,” additional regional transport officer (administration) Kamal Gupta said.
However, officials also said the enforcement of the ban and taking old vehicles off the roads will be a challenging task as 99% of the seized vehicles are just acted upon to meet the annual revenue targets.