With Delhi’s air quality deteriorating to ‘severe’ category, the Arvind Kejriwal government in the national capital has decided to take a major step to tackle the dwindling air pollution in the city. The Delhi government will ask e-commerce companies, cab aggregators and food delivery services to switch to electric vehicles.
Reportedly, the AAP government will also urge petrol pumps not to give fuel to vehicles without Pollution-Under-Check (PUC) certificates. It’s said vehicular emissions account for around 38 per cent of Delhi’s air pollution.
“The government is going to take two major steps to check vehicular pollution. We will ask all aggregators, including Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Uber etc to completely switch to electric vehicles. These services account for 30 per cent of the registered vehicles in Delhi,” an official told PTI.
“We are also considering directing dealers and petrol pumps not to supply fuel to vehicles without PUC certificate,” he said. Directions under the Environment (Protection) Act in this regard are expected to be issued this week.
However, the Delhi government is yet to issue any deadline to the aggregators to switch to electric vehicles. The Kejriwal government is planning to conduct it in a phased manner and will soon draft the guidelines.
In fact, the Delhi Electric Vehicles policy, which was introduced in August 2020, aims at increasing the electric vehicle share in total vehicle sales to 25 percent by 2024.
Only Flipkart (by 2030) and Fedex (by 2040) have established worldwide targets for converting their last-mile delivery fleets to electric vehicles, while DHL has set a 60 per cent electrification target for its fleet.
In October, the city government launched a massive drive to check PUC certificates and deployed around 500 teams at petrol pumps for this purpose.
Under Section 190(2) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1993, vehicle owners not having a valid PUC can be fined up to ₹10,000, or imprisoned for up to six months or both.
Also, in compliance with the National Green Tribunal’s directions, the Delhi government will deregister all diesel vehicles, which will complete 10 years on January 1, 2022, and issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) so that they can be re-registered in other places.
However, no NOC will be issued for diesel vehicles that have completed 15 years or more on the date of applying for it, according to an order issued earlier this month.
It goes without saying that Delhi has emerged as the most polluted capital in the world. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had given 24 hours to the Centre and Delhi government to come up with a serious plan to control air pollution.