Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi on Thursday said it was working on a detailed plan of action to remove around 1.53 lakh diesel vehicles older than 10 years from the city roads in compliance with an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said the city government was determined to ensure full implementation of the NGT order and has already sought Centre’s assistance in enforcing the ban.
As per official figure, around 1.53 lakh diesel-run vehicles older than 10 years are plying in the city and Rai said his department was preparing a comprehensive plan to remove all of them.
He said the Delhi government will discuss the issue of implementing the ban with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments too as large number of polluting vehicles come to Delhi from these two states.
He said the Transport Department was not in a position to implement the ban on its own due to staff crunch and that is why it has also requested Delhi Police for help to take action against the polluting vehicles.
“We are serious about implementing the NGT order. We have written to the Centre and Delhi Traffic Police to help us in enforcing the order,” Rai said.
In a major decision to improve ambient air quality, the NGT on Tuesday had held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi, noting that diesel was prime source of air pollution.
“We have also sought the Centre’s help to implement the NGT court order as an amendment in the existing law may be required to remove the polluting vehicles,” he said.
Rai said his department has sought 250 civil defence personnel so that several crack teams could be formed to remove the vehicles ordered by the NGT.
“At present, we have 166 staff in enforcement section, which is inadequate,” Rai said.
The minister said large number of polluting vehicles come to Delhi from neighbouring states and said an effective mechanism was required to check their entry into the city.
“Trucks from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh pass through Delhi. The pollution level increases significantly in the city during night when these trucks pass through the city,” he said.
Officials said at times the transport department teams find it difficult to send back these polluting trucks as there are no U-turns at border points in city.
“We have called a meeting with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh on Monday where we will discuss these issues and ways to implement the NGT order,” Rai said.
The transport department is also planning to construct U-turns at border entry points soon.
As per figures, a total of 1,18,776 diesel-run private vehicles and 34,659 diesel-run commercial vehicles which are more than 10 years old are plying in the city.