EPCA has recommended ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi: environment minister tells Parliament

Benefits of CNG transition are not visible due to growth in diesel vehicles, says recent report by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority

 
By Vivek Chattopadhyay
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

Concern expressed by non-profits and experts over pollution from the growing number of diesel vehicles in Delhi found an echo in Parliament on Monday. Replying to a question during zero hour, environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan informed the Lok Sabha that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has recommended a ban on diesel vehicles in the national capital.

“The EPCA in a report in 2012 said the benefits of CNG transition are not visible due to growth in diesel vehicles because diesel vehicles are known to emit higher smoke particles and nitrogen oxides than petrol cars,” Natarajan said during question hour.

Earlier in 2007, EPCA had submitted a detailed report to the Supreme Court—Controlling pollution from the growing number of diesel cars in Delhi. “In the report, EPCA had recommended that there is a need to ban the use of diesel in cars in Delhi,” the minister said.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had carried out a study in 2007 in six cities—Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Mumbai and Pune.
“According to the studies, the ambient air quality data of these cities in respect of particulate matter revealed that the contribution due to all vehicles ranges from 2 to 48 per cent,” Natarajan said.

There is growing concern over rising diesel use in private vehicles, especially in the light of recent WHO report linking exposure to diesel fumes to cancer. Delhi-based non-profit, Centre for Science and Environment, has consistently been advocating various measures to discourage use of diesel, including deregulating diesel prices, to build on the gains of transition to CNG vehicles in public transport Delhi .

The government says it is taking several steps to control pollution caused by vehicles, which includes Bharat Stage-IV emission standards for all categories of vehicles and reducing sulphur content in petrol and diesel. But the Centre has not taken any concrete step to tame dieselisation; the number of diesel vehicles in new car sales increased from 40 per cent last year to 60 per cent this year.

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