The stalemate over the decision to ban registration of BS-III emission variant vehicles in the National Capital Region from April 1 continued on Friday, with the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority and automobile manufacturers failing to reach a consensus.
In a meeting on Friday, the EPCA reprimanded major automobile manufacturers for remaining adamant on their stand that abiding by any cut-off date was difficult as it will take time to clear their inventory.
Manufacturers said it was difficult to set a time frame by which they would exhaust their BS-III emission compliant stock of commercial vehicles and three-wheelers. There was confusion over figures provided by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers in this regard.
However, the companies, including Tata and Ashok Leyland said they would stop the manufacture of such vehicles by April 1 to ensure the countrywide roll out of BS-IV norms.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers had in the last EPCA meeting claimed that going by present rate of sales, on March 31, there would be 45,000 three-wheelers, 75,000 commercial vehicles, 7.5 lakh two-wheelers and 20,000 passenger vehicles.
However, it has now emerged that the figures, especially that of three-wheelers, had the data of Bajaj included in it. Bajaj has submitted to EPCA that it has exhausted its BS-III stock and was ready to abide by the April 1 cut-off date, which essentially brings down the BS-III inventory of three-wheelers to 25,000.
The companies also refused to share data of their individual inventories.
EPCA chairman Bhure Lal and member Sunita Narain, however, made it clear that the Supreme Court-appointed body would soon spell out the final word in this matter as the country’s pollution situation was alarming and could not be taken lightly.
In October last year, EPCA had directed auto manufacturers to exhaust their stock of non-BS-IV vehicles by April 1. Last week it reiterated that vehicles, even those seeking national permit, will not be manufactured and registered in the National Capital Region from April 1.
PUC data sought
The EPCA on Friday has asked for last three months’ data from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan on pollution control certificates issued by their PUC centres and the failure rate of vehicles opting for tests within a week.
Earlier, during a meeting on implementation of the recently-enforced graded action plan, EPCA had ordered an “intense drive” against polluting vehicles over the next 15 days. The EPCA chairman had also directed the Delhi government to procure more smoke detectors to challan visibly polluting vehicles.