The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is considering the option of extending the ban on sale of diesel vehicles with engine capacities over 2,000cc to 11 more cities in the country. The ban, which is currently underway in Delhi-NCR, could be imposed in cities including Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai Hyderabad, Jalandhar and Patna.
However, in a hearing today, the NGT gave additional time of three weeks to state governments to furnish information on pollution levels. In a hearing on May 30, 2016, the NGT had sought data from various states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar with details on the worst polluted city in the state and its population, number of vehicles in the city, and the split between petrol and diesel vehicles. The States were asked to submit the relevant information by May 31, 2016. The revised list of details to be furnished now includes ambient air quality and state's two most polluted cities and districts.
According to reports, the next hearing on the matter is set to take place on July 11, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Central government has appealed to the NGT to not extend this ban saying the decision could hurt investments.
“If diesel is being termed as polluting, then it is unfair to single out diesel vehicles with engine capacity of over 2,000 cc. All our vehicles meet all the regulations prevalent in the country. The extension of the ban to other states could have severe implications on our operations. Such decisions make it difficult for us to strategise and it also renders the investments made by our parent company Toyota Motor Corporation, insecure,” a Toyota Kirloskar Motor spokesperson told Autocar India.
Toyota has been severely bogged down by the ban on large diesel vehicles. The carmaker’s flagship Innova and Fortuner models come within the ambit of the ban imposed in Delhi-NCR. According to some estimates, the region accounts for almost 15 percent of Toyota’s sales.
Recently, the NGT banned diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old in six major cities of Kerala, and even directed the State government to not register any diesel-engined vehicle over 2,000cc. The Kerala high court, however, stayed the order on the registration for two months, while not holding up the recently imposed ban.
In a bid to tackle the rising levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court had imposed a ban on the sale of diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacities over 2,000cc, starting mid-December until its expiry on March 31, 2016. However, since then the apex court has extended the ban thrice, and the same is now in place until the next hearing.