The blanket ban on the plying of 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi is a cause of worry for thousands of commuters, industrial units and commercial vehicle owners in the national capital region (NCR).
Though the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order is aimed at cutting the pollution level in the national capital, there is a lack of clarity on how it will affect other NCR cities.
“We respect the NGT order, but wonder whether the tribunal has taken into account that thousands of such vehicles (diesel-run) are engaged with 8,000 industrial units in Noida,” Vipin Malhan, president of Noida Entrepreneurs Association (NEA), said. He said that on an average, two vehicles are engaged with each factory in transporting materials in Delhi-NCR.
Residents say that the prime reason of pollution in NCR is daily jams in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, and Ghaziabad.
“The state governments in NCR cities should come up with measures to reduce traffic congestion. The quality of fuel must also be improved for lower toxic emissions,” PS Jain, president of confederation of NCR RWAs, said.
Though the Centre is keen on adopting Euro VI norms by 2020, currently, diesel vehicles are the biggest source of vehicular pollution, the NGT observed.
“We have argued strongly in the court that every diesel vehicle is likely to cause pollution. The industries have also taken up the issue in court and are adopting standard international norms,” Pinky Anand, additional solicitor general, said.
Following the NGT order, a threat of losing their livelihood looms large on many people in the transport business.
“My vehicle is registered in Himachal Pradesh. It runs on diesel and is 10 year old. We managed to get an NOC to use it in the NCR only a few months back. I am worried now and my family is asking me to buy a new cab, which is difficult to manage soon,” owner of a diesel cab said requesting anonymity.
“I have been carrying goods in my small diesel tempo for the last 12 years from Noida to different parts of the NCR. It is the source of my livelihood but now I am forced to think of selling it,” Surender Saini from Kalyanpuri said.