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Banning old vehicles would be a more effective solution – Delhi Diesel Ban

The decision to stall new registrations taken by the Apex Court with regard to private diesel passenger vehicles with over 2000cc engine capacity has caused a major upheaval in the auto industry.

With Supreme Court putting a stop to new registrations of private diesel passenger vehicles of 2000 cc capacity automakers in India are in a quandary as to their diminishing profits, rising stocks and further course of action. The court order has been passed despite recent findings by IIT Kanpur to cause and effects of Delhi pollution levels and comes at a time when auto manufacturers have been told to go ahead with introduction of BSV and BSVI vehicles by 2019 and 2021 respectively.

The order also puts a damper on sales of BS-IV compliant vehicles which would be out of proportion as compared to other vehicles on the road while BS I, II and III vehicles continue to ply.

Supreme Court of India

IIT Kanpur study draws attention to the fact that motor vehicles contribute only 20% to Delhi’s pollution, of which only 14-15% is from passenger vehicles. This means, passenger cars are causing only 3% of the pollution in Delhi. Case in point, there could have been more effective ways to deal with the rise in pollution in Delhi, says auto industry.

For example, the government could have banned old vehicles which are not compliant with BS IV emission norms. Consider this, a vehicle with BS III or lower compatible engine emits five times more pollution as against any BSIV compliant engine. Surprisingly, the diesel cars which have been banned, are compliant with BSIV emission norms.

Apart from this, burning of biomass, paddy fields and garbage needs to be stopped immediately while dust collectors and vacuum cleaners would be more effective in reducing pollution levels in the capital.

The Court has also restricted old vehicles from entering the city from outside while environmental compensation tax has been increased two fold. Better and more advanced technology in place of outdated technology is the need of the hour while instead of short term solutions, long term and more realistic methods of pollution control should be established.

List of Diesel cars banned in Delhi

Chevrolet Tavera
Chevrolet Trailblazer

Ford Endeavour

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

Hyundai Santa Fe

Mahindra Bolero
Mahindra SsangYong Rexton
Mahindra Scorpio
Mahindra XUV500
Mahindra Xylo

Tata Aria
Tata Safari
Tata Safari Storme
Tata Sumo

Toyota Fortuner
Toyota Innova
Toyota Land Cruiser
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

Audi Q5 3.0L TDI
Audi Q7
Audi A8L

BMW 5 Series 3.0L 530d
BMW X3 xDrive 30d M Sport 3.0L
BMW 6 Series
BMW 7 Series

Jaguar XF
Jaguar XJ L

Land Rover Freelander 2
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
Land Rover Range Rover LWB

Maserati Ghibli
Maserati Quattroporte

Mercedes Benz A Class
Mercedes Benz B Class
Mercedes Benz CLA Class
Mercedes Benz GLA Class
Mercedes Benz C Class
Mercedes Benz E Class
Mercedes Benz GLE Class
Mercedes Benz CLS Class
Mercedes Benz GL Class
Mercedes Benz S Class

Porsche Macan
Porsche Cayenne
Porsche Panamera

Supreme Court Judgement – 16/12/2015

SIAM Statement on SC Order

Auto Industry Pay the Price for Lack of Holistic Plan

The Automobile Industry appreciates the concern of the Hon’ble Supreme Court on the high levels of air pollution, specially particulate matter emissions in Delhi. The pollution issue in Delhi needs to be looked at holistically if the objective of improving the air quality is to be achieved, said SIAM. In light of this, the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order banning private diesel passenger vehicles and SUVs of 2000 cc engine capacity and above, is most unfortunate. While this would certainly hurt some segments of the automotive industry, it will not bring about any perceptible improvement in the air quality of Delhi. However, Auto Industry welcomes the Hon’ble Courts direction for controlling pollution from other sources which has been neglected for last couple of decades.

This order has been passed after totally ignoring the findings of the most summary of the recent study on source apportionment for NCT of Delhi shared with the Hon’ble Court, which mentions that the vehicles are responsible for only 20 % of the pollution in Delhi, out of which only 14-15% is attributable to passenger cars. This makes the overall pollution load of passenger cars a miniscule number of just 3%. Restricting sales of BS IV compliant vehicles will further delay the proportion of BS IV vehicles on the road, while older BS 1/2/3 vehicles would continue to ply. If reduction of pollution was the objective, the Hon’ble Court could have encouraged more BS IV vehicles to be sold and could have restricted use of older vehicles that pollute more, as one old vehicle emits emissions equivalent to five new vehicles. Hence, old vehicles entering from outside should also pay environmental compensation tax. Bringing in better technology to replace older technologies would have been more effective in meeting the challenge of pollution and air quality.

The Auto Industry is also concerned on the unavailability of a Comprehensive Action Plan for addressing the issue of Air Pollution in Delhi, this was stated by SIAM after the order was passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court today. Way back in the year 2003, the Auto Fuel Policy had recommended several measures to address the issue of air pollution. Out of these, only handfuls of recommendations concerning the auto industry were implemented while no action was taken on the other causes of pollution. Single minded approach to address only the auto industry which is a soft target has resulted in high pollution continuing in Delhi, despite of auto industry moving rapidly to BS IV norms within a short period of 10 years – a feat not performed by any other country till date. It is distressing to note that lessons from the past have not been learnt.

Historical data shows that the pollution levels in Delhi always rise from September to December and always starts falling from January till August onwards, whether the number of vehicles increases or not. Therefore, taking any decision to ban a certain segment of vehicles based on rising pollution from September to December would not yield the desired result.

SIAM would suggest the following measures if pollution has to be effectively addressed:-

a) Complete the construction of bypasses in Delhi, which has been delayed for several years, so that the truck traffic not destined for Delhi could be effectively diverted.

b) Have accountability to ensure that burning of biomass and paddy fields is immediately stopped in and around NCR.

c) Employ dust collectors and vaccum cleaners to clean the dust on the road kerb-sides

d) Urgently lay down a policy for remove and scrappage of old and highly polluting vehicles off the road.

e) Constitute an Expert Committee consisting of all stakeholders to draw up an holistic action plan for short, medium and long term with quantifiable targets based upon data to ensure sustained air quality improvements.

Mahindra’s Statement on SC Order

About the author

Pearl Daniels

Pearl Daniels

Former freelance writer, Pearl Daniels is in the auto industry since 2011, having established herself as a widely read staff writer since 2013. Her keen eye for industry news, daily need to break down latest events, and quest to not miss a single launch detail, gives you the most refreshing morning news on weekdays.

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