In a bid to control vehicular pollution, the Delhi transport department plans to restrict the entry of interstate and private buses that do not run on BS-VI fuel, said sources. The department has written a letter to all neighbouring states to deploy only BS-VI buses by October 1.
According to officials, the air quality level deteriorates in the city from October, and it gets worse after Diwali. The emissions released from vehicles are also a major contributor to pollution, said officials. “So, the transport department has decided this year to take preventive measures earlier to control the pollution during the peak period,” said an official.
The transport department has written a letter to the state road transport corporations of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Patiala, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh and asked to “deploy only BS-VI compliant buses destined to Delhi with immediate effect from October 1.”
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“The quality of air in Delhi is of paramount importance as it has a direct bearing on our health. The situation of air pollution in Delhi has attracted the attention of the Supreme Court and Commission of Air Quality Management in Delhi-NCR, which has issued directions for effective regulations of air and vehicular pollution,” read the letter from the transport department.
Why the shift
Bharat Stage Emissions Standard VI-compliant fuel is said to be cleaner than BS-IV as it contains less sulphur. BS-VI was enforced by the central government to regulate the output of air pollutants from vehicles and wasss made mandatory for all motor vehicles from April 2020.
Officials said the apex court has also directed that no vehicles conforming to the emissions of BS-IV shall be sold or registered in the entire country from April 2020. The National Green Tribunal has also directed that no diesel vehicle can ply in Delhi-NCR for more than ten years. Therefore, only BS-VI buses can be sold and registered in the city.
Officials added that public transport buses run by the Delhi government have completely switched to CNG. “… Buses plying from other states to NCT of Delhi still continue to use diesel. For achieving a tangible result, in respect of control of pollution, efforts of all stakeholders, including the neighbouring states, are needed. Therefore, I seek your support to deal with the problem of vehicular pollution by deploying only BS-VI compliant buses destined to Delhi with immediate effect from October 1, 2022,” the letter further stated.
Officials said more than 1,500 buses enter Delhi every day. Before the lockdown, 3,467 buses arrived in Delhi every day from other states. In Delhi, most buses arrive from Uttar Pradesh (1,519), followed by Haryana (757) and Uttarakhand (313).
The transport department had earlier mulled over the ban on the entry of all diesel commercial goods vehicles in Delhi for four months, from November 1 to February 2023.