New Delhi: World Health Organisation (WHO) states that Delhi is the world's most polluted city. A city where average pollution level is eight times higher than the average. The National Green Tribunal Authority (NGTA) has banned all vehicles aged above 15 years from plying on the roads in the national capital.
To put a check on the deteriorating state of Delhi's air quality, the National Green Tribunal has put forth directions on Wednesday wherein all petrol and diesel vehicles that are older than 15 years will no longer be allowed to ply on Delhi roads. This means defaulting vehicles will be seized by authorities as per the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act.
Animita Roy Chowdhary, Executive Director at the Centre for Science and Environment said, "It is a welcome move but it has to be aggressive. This is a short term plan that is implemented but we need an action point that is more aggressive. Like how it is in Paris and China. They shut factories, reduce traffic at regular intervals. Only then there will be an impact."
Delhi has more than 40 lakh vehicles on its roads and by 2040 the number is expected to hit 400 million. But once this law is implemented it will impact around 10 lakh vehicles which may not be an effective number.
The people have expressed mixed response to the order. Divya, a resident, said, "I have a well maintained car, how does one prove that my car is emitting more pollution as compared to a vehicle that's commercial and not maintained."
Vijainder Thakur, another vehicle owner, said, "The age of a vehicle cannot define emitting pollution. What about the pollution check certificate? If that indicates my car I fit why should I be fined?"
Not just cars are under the green court's scanner -- a stricter surveillance on overloaded trucks in the city has also been ordered -- along with fixing of restrictions on parking to avoid congestion. The NGT has also asked authorities to immediately work on building cycle tracks in most parts of the city and to study the possibility of installing air purifiers at marketplaces.
The new action plan ordered by NGT has had mix reactions. Even though experts welcome the fact that NGT has taken interest in cleaning Delhi's air, the fact is that with the onset of winter the air quality data has gone four times higher than the standard. Therefore besides ideating, NGT needs to review and monitor this action plan effectively to reduce the pollution levels in the capital.