Extending the measure to curb the menacing pollution exploiting the nation's capital, the Supreme Court of India has decided to continue the ban imposed on the purchase of Diesel vehicles in Delhi having displacement capacity of 2000cc or above. The next hearing is due on the coming 9th of May 2016, Tuesday, and till then no diesel cars will get registered in Delhi. The Apex court has also imposed ban on the plying of diesel/petrol based cabs in the Delhi National Capital Region with effect from the 1st of May, 2016. These decisions are surely going to affect the daily commuters and add more to their plight, especially the female travelers to the Delhi NCR.
The highest court of India banned the registration of new diesel vehicles having displacement of 2000cc or above last year on the 16th of December, 2015 till 30th April, 2016. As per the latest hearing, the court has extended the time period of the ban till the next hearing, that is, 9th May, 2016. This step was taken up to clear the air quality of the Delhi NCR but it has affected directly or indirectly the sales graph of many of the automakers, some of which have either switched or are on the verge of switching to lower capacity diesel mills or petrol versions. This decision has affected the sales figure by up to 41%.At the special hearing on air pollution, the bench headed by TS Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, said, "We are conscious and firm about our order. This argument of having liabilities will not hold good. Ply these vehicles wherever you want to but not in Delhi-NCR."
The German automaker, Mercedes-Benz, has already proposed to convert its complete diesel range to biodiesel one. Nitin Gadkari, the Road Transport and Highways minister, said, "Mercedes has given me a letter that they can use 100% biodiesel in their cars and buses." He further added, "Mercedes India chief has told me that the standards which we have prescribed for biodiesel can be easily used to power their motors." The minister is already in talks with the petroleum ministry to make available the biodiesel at the petrol pumps. To remind you, Mercedes-Benz is among the most hit ones that are affected by the ban on diesel engines in the Capital of India.
Other car manufacturers, such as Toyota, Mahindra and Tata are also majorly dependant on the diesel vehicles and few of them have already started working around the ban by introducing lower diesel versions to fight the downsizing sales figure. The Mahindra Scorpio and XUV500 SUVs, which earlier were available with 2.2L mHawk powertrain, have now been introduced with a 1.99L mHawk diesel motor. On the other hand, Tata is continuing with its same version of Safari and Toyota too is introducing its all new MUV Innova Crysta with diesel engine options of 2.4-liter and 2.8-liter.
Opposing the ban, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has also made public a statement stating that the cars in India having diesel engine are in consent with the rules and norms set by GOI and this ban is an infringement of the 'right to do business' in the nation. It is also stated that allowing the less efficient or older diesel cars while imposing a ban on the BS IV diesel vehicles is strictly disrupting the purpose of the ban. SIAM further commenting on the decision expressed its grief by stating, "The ruling gives an impression that there is no stability or predictability in the policy regime which will deeply dent the country's global image as an investment destination and the 'Make in India' priority." .
The cab drivers that are affected by the recent decision of imposing a complete ban on the diesel taxis in Delhi NCR protested yesterday by blocking the major NCR junctions, including Dhaula Kuan, DND flyway, Pandit Pant Marg and Moolchand.
The Supreme Court of India has given the last deadline till 30th April, 2016 to these taxi drivers to convert their diesel cars to compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Earlier the Apex court was banning the diesel cabs and taxis from April 1, 2016 but later on it extended the timeline to give enough time to private taxi drivers to get their vehicles converted to the said engine.
To find a mid-way among the ongoing chaos in the nation's capital, the centre has assured that it will ask the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision as the ban is affecting many of the daily commuters, especially those who are working in IT firms and BPOs and have night shifts as they don't find any safe public transport at night.