CAQM: Haryana, Rajasthan, UP can’t register diesel, petrol autos in NCR from Jan 1

Published on Dec 01, 2022 11:34 PM IST

The commission, in an order dated November 30, has asked the transport departments of the three states to register only CNG or electric auto-rickshaws from January 1 part of its policy to phase out diesel-run autos from NCR by 2026-end.

New Delhi, India - Aug. 23, 2021: A diesel auto rickshaw at IFFCO Chowk crossing in New Delhi, India, on Monday, August 23, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) ( To go with Kartik Kumar story for HT Gurugram ) (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
New Delhi, India - Aug. 23, 2021: A diesel auto rickshaw at IFFCO Chowk crossing in New Delhi, India, on Monday, August 23, 2021. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) ( To go with Kartik Kumar story for HT Gurugram ) (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) has told the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan that starting January 1, 2023, no diesel or petrol auto-rickshaws will be registered across the National Capital Region (NCR), and only autos running on CNG or electricity will be permitted.

The commission, in an order dated November 30, has asked the transport departments of the three states to register only CNG or electric auto-rickshaws from January 1 part of its policy to phase out diesel-run autos from NCR by 2026-end.

For Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) and Ghaziabad, the deadline to phase out diesel autos has been set as December 31, 2024. For the districts of Sonepat, Rohtak, Jhajjar (all Haryana) and Baghpat (UP), the deadline is December 31, 2025, while for the rest of NCR, it is December 31, 2026, the panel said.

“Although a handful, petrol-run autos too will not be allowed to be registered in NCR, with only CNG or electric the permissible fuel mode,” a CAQM official clarified, adding that there are no timelines in place to phase out petrol-run autos.

Jitesh Kumar, regional transport authority secretary of Gurugram, said that he would comment on the matter only after going through the CAQM directions in detail.

However, transport department officials said no diesel auto-rickshaws have been registered in Gurugram from June 2021. They said that as per records of the Gurugram road transport authority, only around 1,200 diesel-run and 31 petrol-run autos ply in Gurugram, which will be phased out with time or as per any new direction.

Ghaziabad transport region officials, who have jurisdiction over Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Hapur and Bulandshahr, said they have not been registering diesel autos for the past two years.

“We had stopped registering diesel autos for the past two years, and only one centre at Sikandrabad in Bulandshahr has such a facility. We will shut it down in wake of the CAQM orders after it is discussed in the next meeting of the regional transport authority. We will also discuss about the diesel autos which still have validity to operate as we issued 10 years of permits to them,” said Arun Kumar, regional transport officer of Ghaziabad region.

Official department figures show that as on Thursday, both Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar have 316 diesel autos.

Citing a need to “boost clean public transport services to control vehicular traffic and the quality of emissions from vehicles in the region”, the CAQM order notes that in July, a comprehensive policy to curb air pollution in NCR was formulated, and one factor was phasing out diesel autos from NCR by December 31, 2026.

“The Commission in exercise of powers conferred under section 12 of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas Act, 2021, asks the state governments of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to ensure new registration of only CNG/electric autos in the entire NCR with effect from January 1, 2023,” said CAQM in its order, asking the states to prepare a comprehensive plan for a phasing-out of such autos.

The comprehensive policy has already asked the NCR states to come up with their own policies on e-vehicles and how to promote them.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said diesel vehicles are a key source of pollutants.

“CAQM’s comprehensive policy is looking at sources from different sectors, and this is one of the key sources being phased out simultaneously across NCR from January 1 onwards. While this has been done in Delhi, it is important for NCR to do the same, and now the focus needs to shift to on-the-ground implementation,” she said.

Yogesh Sharma, the general secretary of the Haryana Auto Drivers’ Association, said such orders are discriminatory. “A small auto has a 236cc engine, while the bigger one has a 436cc engine. A diesel car has a 2000cc engine, but it is allowed on the roads,” he said.

However, the Ghaziabad auto union hailed the CAQM orders. “We also do not want diesel autos as they pollute. There are hardly any diesel autos left in the two cities (Ghaziabad and Noida) anyway. But the authorities must clearly give direction with regards to the existing diesel autos, which have valid permits to operate for 10 years. If they are phased out early, the drivers may lose their earnings,” said Dilshad Ahmad, president of the Ghaziabad Autorickshaw Chalak Sangh.

(With inputs from Gurugram and Ghaziabad)

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