The deteriorating state of pollution in India’s national capital is not a hidden fact. Unable to see any action from Arvind Kejriwal led AAP Govt. in Delhi, NGT has ordered immediate impounding and de-registration of those diesel 4-wheelers, which are 10 year old and more than 10 years old.
This means that in case you own a diesel vehicle which is more than 10 year old, then you can’t drive it inside New Delhi. Traffic cops will immediately impound the vehicle, and deregister it.
National Green Tribunal or NGT has lost its patience when it comes to pollution control, and while hearing arguments regarding impounding of old diesel vehicles, passed this sudden order which is all set to unleash chaos on the streets of Delhi.
Due to the constant delays by Delhi Govt., it seems it was a knee-jerk decision by NGT.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said to Delhi Govt.: “Why are you not effectively stopping 10 years old diesel vehicles? Issue directions to all the concerned authorities to take off all diesel vehicles which are over 10 years old from the roads,”
The order to impound and de-register diesel vehicles have been invoked under ‘Environment Protection Act’, and as per reports coming in, RTO has already initiated the seizure of old diesel vehicles.
NGT Miffed Over Delhi Govt. For Inaction?
In July this year, NGT hadbanned all 10 year+ diesel vehicles in the city, and had asked Delhi Govt. to initiate the process of deregistering such vehicles. However, the Govt. had asked for some time, and had said that they will first impound all 15-year + vehicles, before taking action against 10-year old 4-wheelers.
During the arguments since then, Delhi Govt. pleaded that there is no space to keep the impounded vehicles in the city. In reply, NGT has asked neighbouring states to hold meetings, and to determine whether such impounded vehicles can be kept in vacant spaces in their own respective states. Along with this, NGT also ordered Delhi Govt. to remove all scrapped vehicles from the state.
The move against diesel vehicles is not Indian-centric. In Germany, legislatures have decided to completely ban sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030; and to introduce higher taxes for existing vehicles. Volkswagen and other automobile majors are now planning to sell more of hybrid and electric cars, rather than diesel cars in countries like USA.
However, such sudden, arbitrary decision by NGT will cause much inconvenience to all citizens who are already using 10-year old diesel vehicles. Maybe it could have been done in a phased manner; maybe this decision was taken as Delhi Govt. failed to provide any feasible solution in the last 6 months.
Next hearing on this issue has been scheduled on December 8th. We will keep you updated as more details come in..