The fight against air pollution extended to nearby towns in NCR on Saturday as the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Protection Control Authority (EPCA) directed seven districts across Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to stop the registration of diesel autos, taxis and buses with immediate effect.
In a move to phase out diesel-run public transport facilities from NCR, the statutory body directed all authorities concerned in the seven districts to stop issuing fitness certificates to diesel auto and taxis from January 1 and for buses from June 1.
These are already banned in Delhi.
The towns are Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonepat and Bahardurgarh and Jhajjar in Haryana, and Ghaziabad, Meerut and Gautam Budh Nagar in UP.
“The move had been under discussion for quite some time. Seeing the urgency, it was thought that the time for the restriction was ripe. Representatives of all the state governments were present and the decision was taken after thorough discussion,” said a Centre of Science and Environment member.
The EPCA met to facilitate the implementation of the Supreme Court order imposing a ban on registration of diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of over 2,000 cc till March 31.
According to several reports, diesel vehicles are several times more polluting than petrol variants.
Several countries across the world disincentivise buying diesel vehicles.
Paris and London have banned diesel vehicles from several parts of the city.
Saturday’s meeting had participation from the CSE, pollution control authorities, and around 50 officials from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana.
Officials from public sector undertakings in Delhi, the states’ pollution control bodies and the traffic police from Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were also present.