This is one drive that is definitely going to make the Capital’s air cleaner and traffic flow smoother.
The road ministry is planning to create ‘end of life’ directives with a cap of eight years for commercial vehicles, thereby pulling nearly 90 per cent of fume-spewing diesel trucks off Delhi’s roads.
This will make it mandatory for owners to dispose of commercial vehicles after eight years. The cap will come into effect across the country, according to senior road ministry officials, and will help address issues like pollution, congestion and lack of parking space.
The Delhi Police and various environmental experts have stated that the move will be a step in salvaging the Capital’s fast-deteriorating air quality.
A recent report said that Delhi’s alarming air pollution levels threaten to take the city back to the pre-CNG days. Much of that is being blamed on the fleet of old commercial vehicles that run on adulterated diesel.
In Delhi, the old commercial vehicles wreak maximum havoc. There are more than 3.3 lakh commercial vehicles plying on the city’s roads, and if the road ministry implements the directive, nearly 90 per cent of the trucks will be pulled off the road.
The number of buses registered with authorities in Delhi as of February 28 is almost 20,000. The old commercial vehicles, according to ministry sources, are more prone to accidents and hamper the safety of other vehicles.
In addition, such vehicles are responsible for bottlenecks and traffic jams as their breakdown rate is high. According to a recent survey conducted in the city, nearly 80 per cent of the traffic jams in Delhi occur because of such vehicles, including those that have come from other states.
“This proposal, if passed, can cleanse not only Delhi’s air, but the roads as well,” said a senior Traffic police official. According to the Centre for Science and Environment, the government also needs to issue strict instructions to automobile manufactures to provide better technology.
“If the government is planning to phase out old vehicles, they should also ensure that automobile manufacturers provide advanced emission standards for new vehicles. Euro-3 and Bharat stage-4 are old emission standards and the government has to make sure that old vehicles are replaced by Euro-5 and Euro-6 standards, otherwise it will be futile,” CSE executive director Anumita Roychowdhury told Mail Today.
Explaining the current situation in Delhi, Roychowdhury said whatever gains were made with the introduction of CNG in 2000 have been lost.
In addition to that, the disposal of vehicles is also a challenge, wherein manufacturers need to enhance their technology.
“The new Euro-4 technology, which is the latest technology used in cars, is still 10 years behind what is being used in the US and Europe. In India, there are more than 50 lakh commercial vehicles and 12 lakh public transport vehicles,” she added.