If you live in New Delhi or the adjoining NCR areas and own a BS 4 diesel car, it’s time for you to be on high alert as Central government’s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) might ban BS 4 diesel cars.
A couple of days back, CAQM released its revised Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to fight air pollution. As per the plan, authorities will be directed to ban all BS 4 diesel vehicles including private cars in New Delhi and adjoining NCR areas if the Air Quality Index (AQI) is projected to rise above 450.
As per CAQM, the ban on such diesel cars comes under the ambit of the fourth and the final stage of restrictions which will be activated if the AQI is about to cross 450.
Suppose the scenario, indeed, happens in New Delhi anytime soon. In that case, 9,42,447 diesel vehicles including private cars can’t be taken on to the roads leading to a transportation crisis in the city if adequate remedies are not taken beforehand.
The only diesel vehicles which are immune to the revised GRAP are the BS 6 ones which were registered from 1st April 2020 onwards when mandatory BS 6 norms kicked in. The vehicles discharging essential duties will also be spared.
But, of the 10 million vehicles plying on the roads of New Delhi, only 1.12 million are BS 6 complaint.
As per sources, diesel vehicles alone have been targeted as they emit higher amounts of nitrogen oxide compounds which have a significant impact on human health. The BS 6 diesel vehicles emit less than a third of what their BS 4 counterparts do.
This aside, the revised GRAP has also allowed the governments of NCR states to go ahead with banning even the BS 3 petrol cars along with BS 4 diesel ones that too in the third stage of restrictions itself which get activated when the AQI is projected to go beyond 400.
New Delhi alone has 29,57,630 BS 3 vehicles although it’s not known how many of these are petrol cars. The diesel cars older than 10 year are already deemed to be deregistered in the capital city.