Around two lakh polluting diesel vehicles older than 15 years are set to go off the capital’s roads as the Delhi government has started the process to de-register them and asked the traffic police to launch a crackdown as per the National Green Tribunal’s directions.
In a bid to combat air pollution, the state transport department on Friday sent a list of 1.91 lakh diesel vehicles along with details of owners to the traffic police, which identified 21 sites where these could be kept.
Sources told HT that most are goods vehicles.
“A CD containing the particulars of more than 15 years old diesel vehicles is enclosed herewith for necessary action at your end in accordance with the orders of Hon’ble NGT,” read the letter of Special Commissioner (Transport) K K Dahiya to the Special Commissioner (Traffic), a copy of which is with HT.
“These vehicles cannot ply on roads and cannot be parked in public places. If that is done, then the traffic police will immediately impound it. In the next phase, vehicles between 10 and 15 years will be taken up for deregistration,” explained a government official.
The move comes five days after Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung directed the transport department to start the process of deregistering polluting diesel vehicles after Delhi witnessed one of its worst week of toxic air in years.
Impounding of vehicles begins
Implementation has already begun with the traffic police impounding one such vehicle on Saturday. “Our teams that check vehicles for pollution under control (PUC) certificates have been given directions to impound diesel vehicles that are more than 15 years old,” said Garima Bhatnagar, joint commissioner of police (Traffic).
She said that the list of vehicles provided by the transport department is being fed into their e-challan software. “So, the moment our team stops a polluting vehicle and feeds its number in the e-challan software, it would know if it’s one of those cars that needs to be ceased,” she said.
Traffic police worried
But with no directions or guidelines available, the traffic police are worried about what needs to be done with these vehicles. “We do not know whether the vehicles need to be sold or turned into scrap. The transport authority needs to come up with a policy,” Bhatnagar explained.
Leaving vehicles to decay for years eats up land space and adds to pollution in the absence of de-polluting technology.
Besides, the traffic police has only about 8 pits with a capacity for 8,000 vehicles. “But, we already have 6,000 cars in our pits right now,” she maintained.