Delhi to stop registering new diesel vehicles

No new diesel vehicles will be registered in the national capital, the National Green Tribunal said on Friday, even as the regulator proposed a Rs50,000 fine on builders dumping construction material on roads.

"No new diesel vehicles would be registered in the national capital in the backdrop of rising air pollution and smog levels in the city," the tribunal said. The NGT also doubted the odd-even formula may make people buy two cars.

Delhi has nearly 9 million registered vehicles, almost a third of them cars. Some 1,500 new vehicles are added every day. The administration announced the odd-even formula after the Delhi High Court said that the national capital was becoming a "gas chamber".

The Delhi administration is now gearing up to deploy an additional 6,000 buses as the ambitious odd-even scheme kicks off. Besides, it plans to enhance public transport by increasing frequency of metro trains and allowing more autos on the roads.

The NGT also asked the central and state government departments not to purchase diesel vehicles. This move, if implemented, would not just be able to curb pollution, but can be a long-term lifestyle change.

Under interim measures, there will be no renewal of registration of diesel vehicles which are more than 10-year-old.

"As an interim measure till next date of posting subject to hearing of all the concerned parties, we direct that diesel vehicles of more than 10 years of age as already directed, as well as new diesel vehicle would not be registered in NCT, Delhi. We also direct the government to take a conscientious decision with regard to not buying any diesel vehicle, whether by the centre or states," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The tribunal noted that reasonably good number of vehicles are also being registered at Gurgaon, Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad and NOIDA which "are over and above the vehicles registered in Delhi".

The green panel directed all the public authorities, corporations, DDA, police and other public department to prepare and submit an action plan for phasing out diesel vehicles, particularly the trucks being used by all these bodies by 6 January, the next date of hearing.