Diesel autos to be phased out in Delhi NCR by 2026, says air pollution policy
Come 2026, diesel-run autorickshaws are going to be history in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) as the new air pollution policy created by Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) gives clear direction to phase out these vehicles steadily to control air pollution. This policy will focus on sector-wise action plans to bring down air pollution in the next five years.
According to the policy, these diesel-fueled autorickshaws will be phased out in Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad by 31 December 2024, while in the remaining districts, these three-wheelers will move out by 31 December 2026.
Commission for Air Quality Management's policy stated that from January 1 of 2023, only Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and electric autos will be registered in NCR states. Delhi and all NCR states have been directed to build a plan to establish a CNG and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelling network in NCR and on the highways for long-distance trucks as well as commercial vehicles to gas.
The new policy also calls for a ban on BS 4 four-wheeled diesel vehicles, except those used in essential services, in and around Delhi and the bordering districts of NCR (National Capital Region) if the air quality index (AQI) goes above the 450-mark. However, this direction did not go down well as many residential welfare associations opposed this move calling it unnecessary.
Steering committee member, National Clean Air Programme Prof S N Tripathi said the sector-wise policy developed by CAQM is a welcome move to control air pollution. “The focus on strengthening the quality of air pollution data and filling gaps through sensor-based monitoring to cover rural and peri-urban areas will help authorities make evidence-driven decisions for better mitigation and abatement measures," said Tripathi.
(With inputs from PTI)