All Delhi-NCR vehicles must carry fuel stickers by October, says EPCA
The Supreme Court-appointed body Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Thursday directed the Delhi government and other states whose territories fall within the National Capital Region (NCR) to ensure that all four-wheelers — old and new; private and commercial; cars, trucks and buses — must have colour-coded stickers indicating what fuel they use by October 2019.
EPCA also asked all these states to ensure only High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) are used for all vehicles, even those bought before the number plates were made compulsory, before the October deadline.
“EPCA would like to get all four states — Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan — to notify the options and time frame under which they will ensure that all old four-wheelers would get the colour-coded stickers and HSRP. This work should be completed by October 2019,” said Sunita Narain, one of the EPCA members.
According to the EPCA directive, petrol and CNG vehicles must put light-blue stickers on their windscreens, diesel vehicles must have orange stickers, and electric and hybrid vehicles must use green stickers. In Delhi, new vehicles have been getting colour-coded stickers and HSRPs since last October. Now older vehicles to will get these in phases, starting with those registered in 2011 and 2012.
So far about 76,000 four-wheelers registered in Delhi have got HSRP and stickers, according to the state transport department. Delhi has around 5 million other four-wheelers that need them.
Coloured stickers will help authorities remove vehicles from the road based on their age and fuel-type on days when emergency road rationing measures are implemented. An EPCA official said this will make it easier to target and restrict the movement of diesel vehicles, which are compartitively more polluting that petrol and CNG vehicles.
HSRPs will help track vehicles with a laser number linked to the registration number uploaded on the VAHAN, the Delhi government transport department’s online portal since last year.
“As we have one vendor, we will implement this in phases. For now, vehicles which were registered between 2011 and 2012 are being catered to. We will soon float tenders to appoint new vendors to speed up the process,” said KK Dahiya, special commissioner (transport).
Vehicle-owners are meant to register online and approach the government-appointed vendor to get the plates and stickers updated in Delhi and Haryana. There are no vendors in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
Pollution in Delhi-NCR reaches alarming levels during winter every year.
As pollution peaks in the city, the Delhi government implements the Graded Response Action Plan (Grap) to curb toxic emissions. The measures include the odd-even vehicle rationing scheme, ban on construction activities, and others restrictions.
Studies have shown that vehicles contribute significantly to Delhi’s pollution.
A 2016 study by IIT-Kanpur had shown that vehicles are responsible for around 36% of nitrogen dioxide and 20% of PM2.5 in the Capital’s air.
“This is an important step. The colour-coded stickers would help authorities identify vehicles which are running on dirty fuels and keep track of their date of manufacture. This data could be effectively used to take action to fight pollution,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) at Centre for Science and Environment.