Industries Dept Wants SC to Ease Delhi ‘Diesel’ Ban
Says all vehicles that stick to existing emission norms should be allowed to ply in the capital
New Delhi: The Department of Heavy Industry on Friday pleaded with the Supreme Court to allow all vehicles which conform to existing emission norms to ply in Delhi. It said foreign direct investment of a whopping $5.094 billion has come into the sector following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign, citing the figure to argue for relaxation of a ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc.
The ban will have an adverse impact on the momentum of the automobile sector, an affidavit filed a day ahead of a top court hearing of the case, contended. “The automotive industry is the largest constituent of the manufacturing sector in the country’s economy, contributing to more than 47% of the manufacturing GDP of the country,” it said.
“It employs over 30 million people with a cumulative investment of .₹ 143,000 crore and a production of .₹ 556,555 crore,” the affidavit said.
The sector is the fifth largest in terms of FDI in the country, according to the department under the heavy industries ministry. After the Make in India campaign FDI has gone up to 8% of the total equity flow into the country, it said, arguing that its voice be heard in the unprecedented hearing scheduled for Saturday.
It suggested that all vehicles which conform to the existing emission norms be allowed to ply to balance the requirements of industry and ecology.
The ministry said it would take several short-term and long-term measures to assuage the court’s concerns on alleviating air pollution, which had prompted the court to crack down on diesel vehicles which allegedly emit maximum suspended particulate matter. The government said that it would clear in the next three months a policy of scrapping all older polluting vehicles.
Pollution under check certificates issued to vehicles will be strictly regulated, the ministry said. It will also take a slew of more measures to improve air quality in the metropolis, including imposing tolls on vehicles entering Delhi , diverting non-Delhi bound traffic, providing blended bio-fuel such as ethanol, bio-diesel and notifying standards for ending the life of a vehicle.