Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Sunday demanded the Centre impose strict ban on buses operating with poor-quality diesel in the NCR areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. This comes amid the air quality in the national capital being ‘very poor’.
“Vehicular emissions account for a significant portion of Delhi’s air pollution. While buses in Delhi operate only on compressed natural gas and electricity, those belonging to the neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are BS III and BS IV vehicles,” PTI quoted the minister as saying.
From November 1, only electric, CNG and BS VI-compliant diesel buses will be allowed to operate between Delhi and the cities and towns in Haryana, UP and Rajasthan that come within the NCR, according to directions issued by the Centre’s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM).
“While the CAQM has issued strict directions in this regard, we demand that the Centre implement a complete ban on BS III and BS IV buses being operated in NCR areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan,” Rai said.
The minister said that the Delhi government will issue notices to operators of BS III and BS IV buses coming into Delhi from NCR areas of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In an effort to reduce pollution levels, the Centre in April 2020 announced that all vehicles sold in India must comply with Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) emission standards.
The national capital’s air quality deteriorated further on Sunday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) stood at an average of 325 in the ‘very poor’ category at 4 pm.
Delhi’s neighbouring city Ghaziabad had a ‘poor’ AQI of 286. The AQI in Gurugram was termed ‘moderate’ at 198. On the other hand, Noida had a ‘poor’ air quality with the AQI reading 281.
In the national capital, Jahangirpuri recorded a ‘severe’ AQI of 409 at 5 pm. Narela had a ‘very poor’ AQI of 373, the CPCB data stated.