Action takes-off slowly against diesel autos older than 10 years
CM Manohar Lal Khattar during his visit to the city on July 13 had issued a directive that all auto-rickshaws older than 10 years should be impounded and not allowed to ply on city roads.Updated: Aug 06, 2019 04:09 IST
Despite directions from the state chief minister to take action against polluting diesel autos, only two such vehicles have been impounded by the authorities in the last one month. CM Manohar Lal Khattar during his visit to the city on July 13 had issued a directive that all auto-rickshaws older than 10 years should be impounded and not allowed to ply on city roads.
However, the data compiled by Road Transport Authority (RTA) and traffic police revealed that only two such vehicles have been seized by the traffic cops in the last month. Surprisingly, not a single such polluting vehicle has been impounded by the RTA.
Mohammed Imran Raza, secretary, RTA, and additional deputy commissioner, said,“There are 50,000 auto-rickshaws registered under RTA that are plying on the city roads. We conducted drives but surprisingly most of the autos plying on the road did not meet the 10-year bar,” said Raza.
Officials, however, said that they had been taking action against such vehicles since the last one year and it was likely that the majority of older vehicles have been already removed by owners.
Meanwhile, Himanshu Garg, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said that they have been impounding such vehicles since the Supreme Court’s ruling in October 2018. The apex court had endorsed the 2015 order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), banning the plying of diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years in the National Capital Region (NCR) and directing that such vehicles should be impounded.
Garg said, “In enforcing the SC order, a large number of vehicles were impounded in November last year.” The official figure shared by traffic department shows as many as 530 diesel vehicles have been seized by the department since November 2018, out of which 134 are auto-rickshaws. Last month, the department seized two auto-rickshaws, one car, five trucks and one canter truck running on diesel.
According to Garg, once these vehicles are seized, they can only be released after a court proceeding where the owner has to submit an undertaking, assuring that the vehicle would not ply on the roads again.
“If the owner is found violating the norm for the second time then he/she is liable to punishment and a larger penalty,” said Garg. When asked about any such case reported in Gurgaon, he said that there is no such incident to his knowledge. “Most of the times, owners sell these vehicles outside the district or use it in a different city other than Delhi and the NCR.”
In 2016, Haryana’s state transport minister Krishan Lal Panwar had issued directions banning 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles from roads in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonepat, and Jhajjar following increasing air pollution levels in Delhi –NCR.