The Delhi Government has announced that only electric vehicles and compressed natural gas (CNG)-run vehicles would be allowed entry into the city from November 27 to December 3, 2021, as the air quality in the national capital continued to remain poor.
According to news agencies, the government banned the entry of all commercial diesel and petrol vehicles until December 3, following the Supreme Court’s remarks to take advanced measures to keep Delhi’s air quality under check.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the government had taken several measures to improve air quality. Except those involved in undertaking essential services, trucks and other vehicles have been barred from entering Delhi.
The minister said that it had been decided to deploy CNG buses for government employees to commute. The government would also start shuttle bus services from Delhi Secretariat to ITO and Indraprastha metro stations for government employees.
Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to remain in the ‘very poor or severe category’ since Diwali. The national capital remains one of the most polluted cities worldwide.
According to the latest data from Central Pollution Control Board, the AQI stood between 335 and 456 in different areas of the national capital.
Commenting on the government’s decision, Akshay Singhal, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Log9 Materials, an electric vehicle charging (EV) company, said, “Commercial vehicles are a major source of vehicular pollution on the roads. Delhi was the first place in India to restrict commercial vehicles plying in the city. There should be a bigger push for commercial EVs and make it part of policy rather than an interim fix.”
As air pollution increases in the metros and big cities, the Ministry of Power issued a draft proposal amending the Electricity Act, 2021. The amendments are made to ensure that distribution companies (DISCOMs) provide round-the-clock uninterrupted power supply to all consumers and prevent the need for diesel generators, a significant contributor to air pollution.