Traders body CAIT today said the ban on entry of older diesel vehicles in the national capital would not only hit supply of essential items but also damage the economy and the government should develop cleaner fuel to check vehicular pollution.
"Ban on entry of 10 years old diesel vehicles in Delhi by National Green Tribunal shall have greater ramifications on transportation of goods and will adversely affect trade activities and will also damage economy. Any piecemeal or standalone approach will not work and therefore the issue must be dealt with in totality," CAIT said in a statement.
The body said there are about 10 lakh diesel vehicles registered in Delhi, including trucks, out of which nearly 2.5 lakh are 10 years old. The tribunal has banned such vehicles from Delhi-NCR on account of pollution.
Besides, about one lakh commercial diesel vehicles enter Delhi per day, of which about 25,000 vehicles are 10 years old and a business of about Rs 550 crore is done through this activity. Goods worth Rs 250 crore are transported through vehicles, it said.
"Trucks are the backbone of freight transportation system, and Delhi not being a producing state, has to depend upon supply of material from other states... In event of non-plying of vehicles of more than 10 years old, the supply of material... Shall be greatly affected," CAIT said.
Instead of banning them, alternate modern techniques as used in the UK and the US may be adopted to keep a check on pollution level, CAIT's national secretary general Praveen Khandelwal and Delhi State President Ramesh Khanna suggested.
"Efforts should be made to develop alternative cleaner fuels. In the UK ultra low sulphur petrol is frequently used to contain pollution level. On the other hand, as done in California, USA, a policy to clean up of trucks through retrofits may be adopted in India. Air Resource Board (ARB) in California do have such regulations. Other alternatives can also be explored," CAIT said.
It also demanded an in-depth study into the fundamental causes of pollution and bringing out a comprehensive policy to tackle pollution in Delhi in consultation with stakeholders.