Plying of diesel autos in Gurgaon should be stopped to reduce air pollution, say experts
Air quality experts on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court order banning the plying and registration of BS-III vehicles in Delhi-NCR, saying the directive will go a long way in reducing air pollution in the region. Presently, 22,162 registered auto-rickshaws ply on Gurgaon roads. Of these, 11,245 run on CNG (compressed natural gas) and 10,917 on diesel.gurgaon Updated: Apr 02, 2017 00:06 IST
Air quality experts on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court order banning the plying and registration of BS-III vehicles in Delhi-NCR, saying the directive will go a long way in reducing air pollution in the region.
However, they also made a strong case for a blanket ban on the plying of diesel-run auto-rickshaws as they are primarily to blame for the untamed surge in air pollution levels in the city.
Presently, 22,162 registered auto-rickshaws ply on Gurgaon roads. Of these, 11,245 run on CNG (compressed natural gas) and 10,917 on diesel.
The exhaust pipes of the diesel-run autos spew pollutants that include Sulphur Dioxide (SO2 ), Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Carbon Monoxide (CO), diesel particulates and sulphate particulates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and volatile organic compounds like Benzene that pose serious health risks, the air quality experts said.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said, “Air pollution levels in Gurgaon will be significantly reduced once the plying of BS-III vehicles go down by 80%. However, the polluting three-wheelers (auto-rickshaws) are chiefly to blame for the worsening air quality in the city. These vehicles emit toxic gases that are harmful for health.”
The city’s air quality has been marked as ‘poor’ by the Pollution Control Board and the grim assessment is unusual at this time of the year. On Friday, the particulate matter — (PM) 2.5 level — in the city was recorded at 307 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³) against the permissible limit of 60 (µg/m³).
PM 2.5, or suspended particulate matter, is 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter and is a major pollutant. These particles could settle in the lungs and cause respiratory problems.
An official of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) could enforce a blanket ban on the plying of polluting auto-rickshaws. “We are aware that diesel-run autos are still plying on city roads despite a ban on them. We have already conveyed our concerns to the RTA and will soon take steps to stop the plying of these vehicles,” Bhupender Singh, regional officer, HSPCB, said.
Trilok Chand, secretary, RTA, said, “There will be no registration of BS-III vehicles from April 1 and we will soon crack down on diesel-run autos that drive air pollution levels in the city.”