Hitting out against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to ban new diesel vehicles in the capital, automobile manufacturers on Saturday asked the tribunal to consider all facts and data to take a holistic view to control pollution.
“The banning of old vehicles is a welcome step in order to improve air quality in the capital, but banning of new
vehicles that comply withthe latest emission norms will be counter-productive,” Mahindra & Mahindra executive director Pawan Goenka said. He said the NGT should “look at data and do thecalculation”.
He said this verdict will create uncertainty amongst investors, as automobile manufacturers have made huge investments in building production capacity and research and development facilities for diesel products. “This is a short-term setback and we will overcome this,” he said.
“A still to be published report of IIT Kanpur mentions that passenger vehicles contribute 4% of particulate matter in Delhi, of which about 85% is contributed by vehicles that are prior to BSIV. So BSIV vehicles are contributing only 0.5% to the total PM2.5 load in Delhi,” Goenka said. “Is that the reason to ban new BSIV vehicles?” he asked.
While diesel vehicles emit more particulate matters, CNG-propelled automobiles emit more NOX and petrol vehicles have more carbon dioxide emissions, he said.
In order to improve the air quality, it is “unfair to focus only on one fuel” and “why not ban all?”, he said. Expressing similar views, SIAM director general Vishnu Mathur said: “Auto industry is the soft target. In the past several years whatever courts have asked us to do, we have done that. There won’t be any visible results if we don’t come up with a holistic plan.” He questioned as to why the focus is only on cars, as “there are buses and trucks and old vehicles that need to be taken off the roads”.
“There is need for fleet modernisation policy. We need to work on a BS norms-led rational to look into this matter,” Mathur said.
Hyundai Motor India senior vice-president, marketing and sales, Rakesh Srivastava said: “Auto industry has already made plans to invest in diesel technology as per BSV emission norms to be implemented by 2019 and such decisions can negatively impact the industry.” Respective government authorities should give a serious view to create robust road map for the automobile industry for the future, he added. Price Waterhouse partner Abdul Majeed said the steps that one takes should be sustainable, covering all industries, including automotive. “In India, awareness is also one of the weak areas when it comes to emission and all stakeholders need to work together,” he added.