Pre-2005 trucks can’t enter Delhi

Delhiites may soon get some respite from pollution caused by pre-Euro III trucks. No vehicle that was registered in 2005 or earlier will be allowed to enter the city, Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) said quoting the Supreme Court order on air pollution, on Saturday.

The SC-mandated body met officials from all NCR states on Saturday to lay down an action plan based on the apex court’s order on December 17. EPCA headed by former director of enforcement Bhure Lal said while vehicles bound for Delhi may enter the city by paying the environment compensation charge (EEC) stipulated by the SC, the pre-2005 polluting vehicles will not be allowed.

But identifying the pre-2005 registered vehicles is a major challenge, officials said. One option that was discussed is that the licence plate of the vehicle could be read through camera and optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This information could then be compared with the “Vahan” database maintained by the Union ministry of transport to check for date of manufacture or registration. The Delhi government informed EPCA that it’s capable of doing this. EPCA members also wanted to know if the “Vahan” database has information of registration prior to 2005.
Additional commissioner of transport of the Rajasthan government suggested that EPCA consider vehicle manufacturing data instead of registration data, saying the vehicles manufactured in a given year may not be sold and registered in the same year, and, thus some of the vehicles manufactured during 2005 or earlier and registered later will be able to enter Delhi. He informed that registration data of vehicles can be taken from vehicle chassis number.

Chances of misuse of the ECC system was also discussed in the meeting. One way of cheating was to carry just a few bags of vegetables and pretend they are in the exempted category. EPCA decided that any vehicle, which is partially laden or carrying any goods will be treated as a laden vehicle and will pay twice the ECC-Rs 1,400 for category 2 (light duty vehicles ) and category 3 (2-axle trucks) and Rs 2,600 for category 4 (3-axle and above).

Another major decision was that no vehicle that is not destined for the capital will be allowed to enter from NH 8. “We direct that traffic from these two entry points shall be diverted to alternative routes created by the states concerned,” EPCA stated. Secretary, Road Transport Authority, Gurgaon, informed the gathering that there are alternative routes near both the entry points. These will be discussed with the authorities concerned and a detailed status report will be submitted to EPCA by next week, officials said.


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