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Why NGT wants old diesel vehicles off the roads?

Why are old diesel vehicles being targeted?

delhi Updated: Jul 21, 2016 11:41 IST
Mallica Joshi
According to the IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, diesel vehicles contribute 78% of particulate matter 2.5 in the category of four-wheelers.
According to the IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, diesel vehicles contribute 78% of particulate matter 2.5 in the category of four-wheelers.(HT Photo)

Why are old diesel vehicles being targeted?

The recent NGT order on banning old vehicles in Delhi-NCR to control air pollution has made many wonder why are diesel vehicles under fire though they make for only one-fourth of the total number of four-wheelers registered in Delhi. Here’s why:

1. While the age for scrapping/selling (outside NCR) petrol vehicles is 15 years, the same for diesel vehicles is 10 years. According to environmentalists, old diesel vehicles with primitive pollution control systems emit more soot and harmful gases such as sulphur oxides.

2. The poor quality of diesel in the country also makes these vehicles more polluting than their petrol counterparts.

3. According to the IIT Kanpur study on Delhi’s air pollution, diesel vehicles contribute 78% of particulate matter 2.5 in the category of four-wheelers.

4. Of all new vehicles registered in Delhi each year, 35-40% are diesel vehicles. WHO has classified diesel exhaust fumes as a Group 1 carcinogen. They are linked to increased chance of lung cancer and bladder cancer.

5. In 2011, a test by the UK government found that petrol emissions had improved by 96% over the past decade, emissions of nitrogen oxide from diesel vehicles had not decreased in the same time.

6. A well-maintained diesel vehicle is also a problem since the emission norms of their engines are behind time.

7. Latest high-end diesel vehicles, with superior engines and stricter emission norms don’t make much of a difference in India as the fuel quality here is still 15-20 years behind that in other western countries