30 April 1999

The Supreme Court of India ordered that from 1 April 2000, cars in the National Capital Region of New Delhi would be registered only if they conformed to Euro II emission standard. Euro II is the current exhaust emission standard in the 15 Member states of the European Union (click here for a summary of the diesel part of the EU standards).

The ruling will affect more than 15% of all new vehicles sold in India that are sold in Delhi (70,000 cars were sold in Delhi in 1997/98 out of the country total of 417,720).

The ruling also said that, effective June 1, all new gasoline and diesel cars would have to conform to Euro I standards. The number of such cars that would be allowed to be sold will be limited to 1,500 per month.

More than half of Delhi's air pollution is believed to be caused by automobiles. There are estimated 3.3 million cars, trucks, buses and scooters on the city's streets which emit quantities of pollutants. In the absence of emission regulations, Delhi is fast becoming one of the most polluted cities in the world.

Last year, the state government of Delhi banned taxis, buses and auto risckshaws older than 15 years and mandated unleaded gasoline.