The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is said to be mulling on extending the large diesel engine ban to 11 more cities as per reports. After successfully restricting registration of diesel vehicles over 2000cc engine capacity in Delhi-NCR, the NGT is analysing Central Pollution Control Board data on population density, car density and pollution levels to arrive at a decision.
The eleven cities on the ban list include Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad to name a few. The SIAM (Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers) has reacted strongly to this proposal saying that this move will be ‘unscientific and uncalled for’. The SIAM has also said that the ban has resulted in the loss of sale of 11,000 units in Delhi-NCR alone affecting around 5,000 jobs. SIAM also said that if the ban is extended across the country, the loss of sales will be approximately one lakh units and will affect 47,000 jobs.
Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM also said, “Vehicle manufacturers and oil refineries have been investing to upgrade to higher emission norms and address pollution concerns. Banning vehicles that meet laid down norms is against the fundamental right of companies doing business in the country.” Manufacturers like Toyota and Mahindra have been greatly affected owing to their large SUV-biased product portfolios. Amongst luxury car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz has been hit due to the lack of a sub-two-litre diesel engine.
In Delhi-NCR, the NGT has banned registration of new diesel vehicles with engine capacity over 2000cc in order to curb the air pollution levels that have risen to unwarranted levels. The NGT also proposed a similar ban across Kerala along with a ban on plying ten-year-old diesel vehicles in six cities. While the Kochi court stayed the ban on sale of new cars, the ruling for old vehicles has been untouched.