Delhi mulls ban on non-CNG, electric, BS-VI buses amid pollution surge

In the wake of escalating pollution levels in the national capital, the Delhi government is contemplating stringent measures to curb air pollution. Reports suggest that the authorities are considering a comprehensive ban on passenger buses entering Delhi, with exceptions only for those powered by CNG, electricity, and BS-VI diesel. This move comes as a response to the current GRAP Stage IV restrictions in place due to the deteriorating air quality.

The Urgency Amidst Festival Rush

As the festival of Chhath Puja approaches, there is a palpable urgency to address the surge in traffic and ensuing pollution. Sources indicate that the government is keen on implementing this ban post the festival to mitigate the immediate impact on commuters and festivities.

Recent Directives: Haryana as a Precursor

Last month, the Delhi government took a decisive step by directing that all buses entering the national capital from Haryana must adhere to strict fuel standards. This means that buses must run on electricity, CNG, or BS-VI diesel. Presently, only trucks face restrictions, but the city authorities are extending these directives to buses entering from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the NCR region.

Expansion of Norms: A Comprehensive Approach

The city’s transport department has articulated plans to broaden the scope of these norms. Starting July 1, the mandate for buses entering Delhi from any city or town in Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh will exclusively include those running on electricity, CNG, and BS-VI diesel. The source suggests that similar norms may soon apply to buses arriving from all states.

Escalating Pollution Despite Stringent Measures

Despite the implementation of rigorous measures by the Delhi government, including a ban on construction activities and the entry of diesel-fueled trucks, the air quality in the city continues to plummet. This raises concerns about the efficacy of existing strategies and the need for more robust interventions.

Enforcement Teams and Stringent Checks

To ensure compliance with existing restrictions, the government has deployed forty enforcement teams, including traffic personnel, in Delhi’s border areas from 8 pm to 4 am. These teams are tasked with enforcing restrictions on overloaded trucks, scrutinizing pollution certificates, and monitoring interstate buses to alleviate congestion.

The Road Ahead: Prioritizing Sustainable Transportation

In the face of escalating pollution challenges, it is evident that the Delhi government is prioritizing sustainable modes of transportation. The emphasis on CNG, electricity, and BS-VI diesel reflects a commitment to reduce vehicular emissions, a significant contributor to air pollution in the capital.

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