Delhi transport department has been able to impound only 106 old vehicles since NGT banned them in 2014
The Delhi government may have deregistered 40 lakh old vehicles to curb pollution in the national capital but the enforcement data shows a dismal picture with only 3,196 (.079 per cent) such vehicles impounded by agencies after they were banned by the NGT in 2014.
Two different agencies are responsible for enforcing the ban on 15-year old petrol vehicles and 10-year old diesel vehicles imposed by the National Green Tribunal in 2014 – Delhi traffic police and transport department of the Delhi government. The ban was ratified by the Supreme Court.
The data provided under the Right to Information Act to an activist, Deepak Juneja, shows only 3,196 such vehicles have been impounded since 2014 by both agencies which is just .079 per cent of the total 40 lakh vehicles.
The Delhi government transport department data provided under the RTI paints even a grimmer picture as it has been able to impound only 106 old vehicles since the NGT banned them in 2014, till August 31, 2018.
After NGT had banned old vehicles in the capital, Delhi police mandarins have been issuing circular to impose the ban and take strict action against the erring vehicle owners but the data shows hardly any progress on the ground.
The registration numbers of the petrol vehicles which are 15 year old and diesel ones which are 10 year old have been "deemed to have been de-registered". They have been fed in mobile challan system of the Delhi police which flash as and when their numbers are entered in hand-held devices by traffic officers.
The Delhi traffic police has impounded 1,242 petrol vehicles that are 15 year old since 2014, while 1,848 diesel vehicles that are 10 year old between 2014 and till September 27, 2018.
The challan data provided by the traffic police shows 1,411 challans were issued for 15 year old vehicles and 354 challans for 10 year vehicles during the period.
Vehicular pollution is a major contributor to dangerous air quality in New Delhi which is claiming over 10,000 deaths annually, according to a study.
Nearly 15,000 people died prematurely in Delhi due to pollution by fine particulate matter in 2016, one of the major emissions from diesel vehicles, according to a study this year, which ranked the national capital third in a list of cities reporting most deaths due to air pollution.
Speaking to PTI, Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment, said old diesel vehicles cause seven times more air pollution than vehicles with latest BS-VI certification. The Supreme Court has recently banned sale of all Bharat Stage-IV certified vehicles from April 1, 2020.
The Bharat stage emission standards are standards instituted by the government to regulate output of air pollutants from motor vehicles.
The Bharat Stage VI (or BS-VI) emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country.
Ms Roychowdhury said emission profile of all vintage cars show that a 10-year-old diesel mid-size car or SUV that meets BS-II and BS-III standards emits 7.5 times higher toxic particulate matter compared to the current BS-IV diesel vehicles.
"Thus, emissions from one BS-II diesel car are equivalent to emissions from 7 current BS-IV diesel cars. This gap will increase even further when BS-VI emissions standards come into effect," she said.