Winter is coming and Delhi is all set to improve the air quality of the city before Diwali. Delhi government’s transport department has initiated a major anti-pollution drive to check emissions from vehicles.
The winter is more deadly in Delhi compared to other north Indian states not only because of the winter chill but due to heavy smog which results in the air quality level breaching all safety levels.
The frequent use of outdated vehicles in the city is one of the main reasons for the worsening air pollution in the city. These vehicles consume more fuel than new vehicles and pollute more. One can even visibly see the black smoke coming out of these vehicles.
“Stubble burning in neighbouring states has begun and, as winters set in, pollution levels will worsen. Hence, we are starting a fresh drive of seizing diesel vehicles that are over 15 years and are parked in public spaces. For other vehicles, our enforcement teams have been directed to intensify checking pollution under control (PUC) certificates and impound visibly polluting vehicles until Diwali,” transport minister Kailash Gahlot said.
The government has shown firm actions on the anti-[pollution drive with. On Saturday, the department’s enforcement wing prosecuted 153 vehicles for not having PUC certificates and another 158 that were visibly found polluting.
“For the next couple of months, our total focus would be on controlling pollution,” a transport department official said. “Every year, we carry out anti-pollution drives during winter when the Graded Response Action Plan kicks in. However, this time we are starting well in advance to help reduce air pollution as much as we can.”
The department will also confiscate, deregister and scrap vehicles that are more than 15 years old. Moreover, the seized vehicles will not be returned to owners, stated in the new ‘Delhi Scrapping of Vehicles Rules, 2018’.
Delhi has more than 10 million registered vehicles and 370,000 of these are older than 15 years. Delhiites can also give their old cars and two-wheelers for scrapping to licensed scrap dealers certified by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee against an assured amount.
According to data by government, 223,000 diesel vehicles were deregistered since January 2016 for a National Green Tribunal order.
“The vehicles will be handed over to state-run MSTC Limited for scrapping. Delhi Police is also being asked to impound such vehicles if found plying on roads. Besides, enforcement teams of municipal corporations and the transport department will also be imposing fines and impounding such vehicles,” said a transport official.