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New Delhi ordered to scrap older vehicles

27 November 2014

The India’s National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered Delhi local, state and federal agencies to implement several measures to reduce the levels of pollution in New Delhi. “The air pollution of NCT, Delhi is getting worse with each passing day”, noted the tribunal in its order.

Under the order, all vehicles older than 15 years are to be taken off New Delhi roads. The tribunal also directed authorities to implement emission checks for urban buses, restrictions on burning garbage in the open, and other measures.

Some estimated 1 million vehicles registered in Delhi are older than 15 years—they would have to be de-registered if the NGT order is implemented. In total, there are 8.1 million vehicles registered in New Delhi, 6 million of which are private vehicles. The city population is about 17 million.

According to the WHO, New Delhi has the highest levels of particulate pollution in the world, with annual mean PM2.5 concentrations above 150 µg/m3—fifteen times higher than the WHO guideline limit of 10 µg/m3. The sources of pollution include vehicle traffic, open fires widely used for heat and to cook food, as well as dust from Rajasthan deserts.

Among the traffic sources, diesel cars—very common in India—are believed to be a significant contributor to particulate pollution. New Delhi currently requires Bharat Stage IV (BS IV, based on Euro 4) emissions, that are met without particulate filters. The move to BS V standards, which would require particulate filters, is held back by the sizable investment to upgrade refineries that would be necessary to produce ultra low sulfur diesel.

Source: The Times of India