Sharing this article appearing in Times of India
NEW DELHI: A ban on diesel vehicles can only be a temporary measure to tackle pollution and the “permanent answer” lies in implementing better fuel norms, and the Centre has taken important steps in this direction by bringing forward deadlines for Euro IV and V norms to 2017 and 2019, environment minister Prakash Javadekar has said.
Reacting to the NGT and Supreme Court orders restricting diesel cars in Delhi, Javadekar said, “The permanent answer must be provided by the Centre. Euro IV norms will be applicable throughout the country by 2017. Then we will bring in Euro V and VI by 2019 and 2021. This is three years before the schedule originally envisaged.”
The improved refining capacity to deliver better fuel will cost Rs 60,000 crore and the tight time-table reflects the government’s determination to reduce pollution, the minister said. “I think this will change the scenario for ever,” Javadekar told TOI in an exclusive interview.
On the “odd-even” formula, the minister said the city government should give it a shot and see how it works out. “Many governments world over have tried with a mixture of success. But fuel and bypass solutions will be the ones that deliver results,” he said.
Pointing to gaps in the SC order stopping registration of diesel cars in the capital, he said, “The vehicles can be registered in neighbouring areas. The court has also said that the ban is a temporary measure. I am also hoping the environment pollution (prevention and control) authority will prove effective.”
Apart from better fuel, the minister said vehicle design needed to change for better environmental protection. “This government is acting on issues that had piled up in the last 10 years. Just like the bypass roads for Delhi that were only discussed for so long. Now, the work has started in full swing. The first bypass will be ready in one year and the second in two years,” he said.
“No non-destined heavy vehicles entering Delhi in three years time is a real solution. So are changes in car design and fuel. Discussions over the past nine months with Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, UP and Punjab have resulted in the states drawing up individual annual plans that are reviewed every three months,” said Javadekar.
The coordination between the Centre and the states affecting the capital has begun to deliver results and this can be seen in reducing stubble burning the agricultural season. “Stubble burning is down by 30% and this meant improvements in air quality. The NDMC’s waste to energy plant will soon begin functioning and this will help too,” he said.
The minister also said new rules to deal with construction waste will reduce the dust and debris.