Due to alarming levels of pollution being recorded across Delhi, the government aims to rid the city of commercial vehicles older than 15 years by April next year. India's booming population and lack of modern infrastructure has resulted in the country now boasting of the unhealthiest air in the world as 13 of the top 20 most polluted cities on the planet are in India. New Delhi, by far and away is the worst offender as parts of Delhi recorded an AQI of 999 on Monday. To put things into perspective, an AQI reading above 150 is considered to be unhealthy whereas 350-500 is said to be hazardous.
While speaking to Reuters, Vijay Chhibber, a bureaucrat in the transport ministry stated," We are to make 15 years the end of the life for all commercial vehicles. It (air pollution) will get worse every year unless we do something." He also said that the order would be unveiled to the public in 10 days and that the ban would be enforced next April.
Truck owners have been outraged by this decision as they feel that they are being unfairly targeted. However according to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) think-tank, the estimated share of vehicular emissions stands at 60 per cent. Nevertheless, experts are also suggesting that banning CVs is just part of the solution to the pollution crisis. CSE pollution expert, Vivek Chattopadhyay, stated," Taxes on cars and parking charges should be raised to curtail usage, and public transport should be expanded. Emissions are not just related to age."
China, which is home to the world's second most polluted city in Beijing, has declared a 'war on pollution' and will be pumping in billions of dollars to amend the growing health hazard. Many coal-fired power plants have been shut down and new car registrations have been cut. India on the other hand, has advanced the dates by which BS-V and BS-VI emissions standards will be enforced in the country as BS-IV standards are far behind the emission norms in China and the EU.