In response to worsening air quality, Delhi’s Environment Minister, Gopal Rai, announced a comprehensive plan to address vehicular pollution in the region. He highlighted the progress made in air quality over the past year and emphasized the need for further improvement. Rai outlined several initiatives, including the shift of industrial units to cleaner fuels and the voluntary ‘Red Light on, Gaadi off’ campaign.
Of significant note, Rai declared that, as of November 1, all diesel buses entering Delhi-NCR from other states would be required to use alternative fuels, marking a pivotal step to reduce emissions. He had previously urged the central government to impose strict bans on buses operating on subpar diesel and to phase out BS III and BS IV buses in the NCR regions of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
The Environment Minister personally conducted surprise inspections at the Kashmiri Gate ISBT, scrutinizing diesel buses from NCR states. The ultimate aim of these efforts is to combat vehicular pollution comprehensively.
Rai reiterated his call for a complete ban on BS III and BS IV buses in the NCR regions of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, emphasizing the need for cleaner fuels to mitigate pollution in Delhi. Additionally, he stressed that drivers of diesel buses from NCR states were informed that only electric, CNG, and BS-VI buses would be allowed to enter Delhi starting November 1.
To ensure compliance with these new regulations, the Transport Department will launch a thorough inspection campaign at all entry points from November 1, with penalties for buses that do not adhere to the rules. This multifaceted approach is expected to have a significant impact on reducing pollution from vehicular sources in the region.”