New Delhi: Government on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has recommended that there is need to ban diesel vehicles in Delhi to prevent emission of high smoke particles.
"The EPCA in a report in 2012 has stated that 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," Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan said during Question Hour.
Earlier in 2007, the EPCA had expressed this concern in a detailed report filed by it in the Supreme Court titled "Controlling Pollution from the growing number of diesel cars in Delhi".
"In the report, EPCA had recommended to the Court that there is a need to ban the use of diesel in cars in Delhi," the minister said. In its report, the EPCA had stated that diesel cars in the capital had increased by nearly 425 per cent in the last decade.
The Central Pollution Control Board had carried out a study in 2007 in six cities - Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kanpur, Mumbai and Pune.
"As per the studies, the ambient air quality data of these cities in respect of Particulate Matter revealed that contribution due to all vehicles is ranging from 2 per cent to 48 per cent," Natarajan said.
Government is taking several steps to control pollution caused by vehicles. These include implementation of Bharat Stage-IV emission standards for all category vehicles, reducing sulphur content in petrol and diesel, implementing pollution under control norms, promoting use of alternative fuels like CNG, electric vehicles, bio-diesel; building more by-passes to avoid unnecessary entry into the city, and strengthening mass transport system.
Earlier, Supreme Court has expressed its concern over thick smog cover and worsening environment conditions in Delhi/NCR. It has issued notice to central government after an NGO said that diesel vehicles are mainly responsible for high pollution level in the capital region.
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, while expressing concern over environment, gave its proposal. According to EPCA proposal, an annual environment compensation charge of 2 percent on the petrol vehicles and 4 percent annually on diesel vehicles has to be levied on all private vehicles of Delhi/NCR. In addition to that, environment compensation charge of 25 percent has to be levied on the purchase of each new diesel vehicle.