In what could come as a severe blow to automakers in India, the NGT diesel ban which is currently in place in Delhi and Kerala (high court stayed it for 2 months) may be extended to 11 more cities. The NGT (National Green Tribunal) hearing on this matter is expected to finalize the cities based on the data acquired from Central Pollution Control Board on population density, car density, pollution area and pollution level of the nation’s major cities.
Following the Delhi diesel ban which prohibits registration of diesel vehicles with engine displacement larger than 2.0-litre and prevents old diesel vehicles (10 or more years old) from entering the territory, NGT has identified 15 key cities across the country where the ban would be extended in due course. From this list of 15, 11 major cities will be selected for imposition of the diesel ban.
The 15 cities include Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Patna, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Nagpur, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. More details should be out in the coming days.
Extension of NGT diesel ban would effectively stall the production of larger vehicles in India which in turn would result in huge production and job losses (even at the dealer end). Car makers like Mercedes, JLR, Mahindra and Toyota will be hit the most since most of their popular car models fall under the banned category.
Reacting to the extension of the NGT diesel ban, Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, said that automakers and oil refineries have invested heavily in upgrading to better emission norms and curb pollution. He also said that banning vehicles that meet the laid-down norms is against the fundamental rights of the companies doing business in the country.