Even though the National Green Tribunal has ordered a blanket ban on diesel vehicles of more than 10 years old, implementing the order will be a major challenge for transport authorities in Gurgaon due to lack of infrastructure.
There are just two vehicle fitness testing centres — one each for private and commercial vehicles. Both the centres are operated manually. One of the fitness centres located at the Leisure Valley ground in Sector 29 is meant for commercial vehicles and the other at the Mini Secretariat near Rajiv Chowk is for private vehicles.
According to officials, more than 500 vehicles come for testing every day at each centre and therefore, the testing process becomes just a formality.
“It is not easy to check hundreds of vehicles every day and the checking cannot be properly done especially when people in queue tend to become impatient. The only relief is that the staff at the centre has recently been increased from one transport inspector to two,” said an official of the Regional Transport Authority.
The principle secretary, transport and civil aviation, Haryana, had in November 2013 said that high-tech fitness testing centres to test the roadworthiness of vehicles are being planned across the state including in Gurgaon. But there has been no development on the ground so far.
Also, the transport department has been planning to phase out diesel autorickshaws for the past two year but nothing has been done till now. Neighbouring Delhi has already done it about 20 years ago.
“For reducing the older dieselrun autos, a simple alternative could be to replace them with CNG autos and give advertising space for compensating the cost of the whole procedure. In this manner, auto drivers remain employed and do not need to spend from their pockets and the government’s expenditure is also reimbursed by the ad revenue,” said SK Lohia, former OSD (Urban Transport) and exofficio joint secretary, Union urban development ministry.
Besides, the transport department has no record of the number of private or commercial diesel vehicles registered before 2005. The registration records of private vehicles were computerized in Gurgaon after 2005 and of commercial vehicles after 2011.