Diesel-run auto rickshaws will have to be phased out in the entire national capital region (NCR) by December 31, 2026, according to a new policy formulated by the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
The policy unveiled on Wednesday mandates phasing out of diesel autos in Gurugram, Faridabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Ghaziabad by December 31, 2024.
The autos will be gradually moved out of service in the remaining districts of the national capital region by December 31, 2026.
The NCR covers the whole of Delhi, 14 districts of Haryana, 8 districts of Uttar Pradesh and two districts of Rajasthan.
Only Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and electric autos will be registered in NCR states from January 1, 2023, according to the policy.
Delhi had in 1998 launched a programme to convert its fleet of diesel auto rickshaws into CNG ones. No diesel-run auto is registered in Delhi at present.
The Delhi Transport Department had in October last year launched the scheme for registration of 4,261 e-autos.
The new policy lists sector-wise action plans to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR in the next five years.
According to the policy, which comes into effect immediately, all thermal power plants located within 300 kilometres of Delhi will have to ensure compliance with emission standards according to the deadline set by the Union environment ministry.
Fuel pumps in Delhi-NCR will not give fuel to vehicles not having a valid pollution-under-check certificate from January 1, 2023, it said.
State governments have been asked to implement scrappage policy for the end-of-life vehicles that cannot be used any more.
Delhi and all NCR states will have to develop a plan to create a CNG and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelling network in NCR and on highways to shift long-haul trucking and other commercial vehicles to gas.
The use of coal in industrial application will be banned from January 1, 2023.
The policy was framed after the Supreme Court in December last year directed the CAQM to invite suggestions from the general public and experts in the field to find a permanent solution to the air pollution “menace” in Delhi-NCR.
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