To cut bad air, curbs on trucks entering Delhi from Nov to Feb
- Last year, the Delhi government banned the entry of all trucks (except those carrying essential commodities) into the capital between November 17 and December 20, as the air quality started deteriorating to become severe (AQI more than 400).
The Delhi government is likely to ban the entry of diesel-run goods carriers, except those transporting essentials such as vegetables, fruits and milk, from entering the Capital for four months between November 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023, in a move to combat air pollution in winter months, senior government officials said on Thursday and added that the transport department was preparing an order in this regard.
The order, however, was not notified till late Thursday evening.
Last year, the Delhi government banned the entry of all trucks (except those carrying essential commodities) into the Capital between November 17 and December 20, on the orders of the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) as Delhi’s air quality started deteriorating to become severe (AQI more than 400).
Senior government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said unlike the previous year, this time the ban will be strictly focused on diesel-run heavy to medium vehicles, except those transporting essential items such as raw vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, eggs, and tankers carrying petroleum products.
The exceptions may also include CNG-run trucks and tempos and electric goods carriers, the officials added even as the final order was awaited.
“The CAQM has always asked governments to take proactive decisions or actions to curb air pollution. So instead of waiting for directions, the Delhi government this time has started preparing for winter pollution in advance. Therefore, this order of banning diesel-run goods carriers for a period of about four months is being drafted,” said a senior transport department official.
A second official said the reason behind issuing the order so early is to let all traders and transporters know well in advance about the rules that were to be implemented during the winter months.
“Every year, such orders are issued as an emergency measure during peak pollution months and it results in kilometres-long queues of trucks at all borders of Delhi. They have to be sent back since many of them say they were not aware of the restrictions. Transporters call it a knee-jerk reaction because they are not informed in advance. Now, they can plan their routes well in advance and take the eastern or western peripheral expressways, among other alternate routes that bypass Delhi. This is the reason why the order is being issued four months before its implementation,” according to the official.
Except for trucks having an all India permit, majority goods vehicles in Delhi run on CNG. So, the curbs will mostly affect the trucks coming from other states.
An analysis by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in 2015 found that trucks contributed to around 30% of the total pollution due to vehicles in Delhi.
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data from March 1 to May 11, 2022 shows Delhi recorded a total of 55 ‘poor’, 1 ‘very poor’, 16 ‘moderate’ and no ‘satisfactory’ or ‘good’ air quality days. In comparison, there were 35 ‘poor’ days and just three ‘very poor’ days during the same period last year.
An air quality index (AQI) of 0-50 is termed ‘good’, 51-100 is ‘satisfactory’, 101-200 is ‘moderate’, 201-300 is ‘poor’ and 301-400 is ‘very poor’.
In April, the Delhi government formulated a 14-point action plan to combat air pollution during summer even as experts called for long term plans to combat air pollution in the city.
Every year during winters, Delhi’s air quality deteriorates leading to a health emergency due to local, external emissions and meteorological factors such as poor wind speed and fog.
Earlier this week, Delhi transport department wrote to neighbouring states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, urging them to ply only BS-VI emission compliant buses on their Delhi routes.
“The NGT has already directed that diesel vehicles of more than 10 years life will not be allowed to ply in NCR. It is important to mention that the public transport in Delhi has been switched completely to CNG, while buses plying from other states to NCT of Delhi continue to use diesel. For achieving a tangible result in respect of control on pollution efforts of all the stakeholders including the neighbouring States are needed,” OP Mishra, special commissioner (operations), transport, said in the letter written to the Haryana government.
Bharatiya Janata Party Rajasthan state chief Satish Poonia on Saturday alleged that chief minister Ashok Gehlot is using State agencies as a weapon for his defence. His statement came after the additional district session judge of Jaipur issued notice to Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in connection with a case of attempting to topple the state government in July 2020. Out of revenge, he used the agencies against his own people, Poonia said.
A massive fire broke out in a plastic godown during the wee hours of Sunday in the Badli area in the outer north district of Delhi. According to people familiar with the matter, 23 fire tenders were dispatched to the spot shortly after the incident. The Delhi Fire Services officials said that a call regarding fire in a godown, stacking plastic granules, in Badli area behind Rohini jail was received at 2.18am.
When young voices come together, their force can bring about a change. That's what made the students of Delhi University chant, “We come together, we move apart, we remain queer,” when they got together at Bharati College, for the three-day fest, Horizon. The rainbow might take time to make an appearance in Delhi skies, but at this fest organised by Iris, the queer collective of Bharati College, it sure made its presence felt.
A fire broke out in the cafeteria of a theater at the High Street Mall in Kapurbawdi, Thane, on Saturday night, officials said. The customers were evacuated safely but three fire brigade officials suffocated and one suffered minor injury during the incident, they added. Around 11.30pm on Saturday, the manager of the theatre, who was on the third floor, suddenly saw a fire breaking out in the snack corner area.
The voting for the elections to the Gorkha Territorial Administration in Bengal's Darjeeling hills began on Sunday along with polls in 22 gram panchayats under the Siliguri Mahakuma Parishad in north Bengal and by-polls at six municipal wards in the districts of North 24 Parganas, Hooghly and Purulia. The West Bengal State Election Commission announced last month that the results of all the polls and by-polls will be declared on June 29.