The Delhi government is likely to ban the entry of diesel-powered freight carriers for four months between November 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023, from transporting essential commodities such as vegetables, fruits and milk. Senior government officials said Thursday to combat air pollution during the winter months and that the Department of Transportation is preparing an order in this regard.
But the order was not announced until Thursday evening.
Last year, as Delhi’s air quality began to deteriorate, the Delhi government banned all trucks’ access to the capital (excluding shipment) between November 17 and December 20, on the orders of the Air Quality Management Commission (CAQM). Acute (AQI over 400).
Unlike previous years, this time it will be strictly focused on heavy and medium vehicles driven by diesel, excluding the transport of essential items such as raw vegetables, fruits, grains, milk and eggs, senior government officials said. And tankers carrying petroleum products.
Exceptions may also include CNG-powered trucks and tempos and electric goods carriers, officials added while awaiting final order.
“The CAQM always asks governments to take preliminary decisions or measures to curb air pollution. So instead of waiting for direction, the Delhi government has started preparing for winter pollution this time around.
A second official said as soon as the order was issued, all traders and shippers should be made aware of the rules to be implemented in the winter months.
“Every year, during the peak pollution months, such orders are issued urgently and this stops in a queue of trucks stretching for kilometers across all the borders of Delhi. The routes can be planned in advance and other alternative routes, such as bypassing Delhi, can be taken on the East or West External Expressways, which is being ordered four months ahead of schedule, ”the official said.
Most of the freight vehicles in Delhi operate on CNG, except for all-India licensed trucks. Therefore, restrictions often affect trucks from other states.
An analysis by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2015 found that trucks contributed about 30% of the total vehicle pollution in Delhi.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data for March 1 to May 11, 2022 shows that Delhi recorded a total of 55 ‘poor’, 1 ‘very poor’, 16 ‘moderate’ and no ‘satisfactory’ or ‘good’ air quality days. By comparison, there were 35 ‘poor’ days in the same period last year and only three ‘very poor’ days.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) of 0-50 is termed ‘good’, 51-100 ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 ‘moderate’, 201-300 ‘poor’ and 301-400 ‘extremely poor’.
In April, the Delhi government devised a 14-point action plan to combat air pollution in the summer, with experts calling for long-term plans to combat air pollution in the city.
Every year during the winter season, Delhi’s air quality causes health emergencies due to local, external emissions and poor air speeds and weather factors such as snow.
Earlier this week, the Delhi Transport Department wrote to neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, urging them to drive only BS-VI emission compliant buses on their Delhi routes.
NGT has already stipulated that diesel vehicles will not be allowed to drive for more than 10 years in the NCR. It is important to mention that public transport in Delhi has been completely shifted to CNG, but buses moving to NCT Delhi from other states continue to use diesel. The efforts of all stakeholders, including neighboring states, to achieve a clear result in pollution control are needed, ”Special Commissioner for Transport (Operations) OP Mishra in a letter to the Haryana government said.