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Ban on diesel vehicles : Pros & Cons

Introduction:

The National Green Tribunal has issued a ban on the registration of any new diesel run vehicle in the capital city, New Delhi. Rising level of pollution has triggered alarm that led to this temporary measure to start bringing about changes that could put the situation under control.


This order has come down heavily upon auto companies and dealers who have huge investments lying at the risk of loss if this law is passed to be made permanent. Even if the decision if now under scrutiny until next hearing, it would mean huge loss for these auto giants who would not be able to sell diesel vehicles.

However, it is also being said that this ban would not bring about any change or lessening in the pollution level of the city and that the decision would affect investment reputation of the country. Fall in diesel prices as compared to petrol prices have encouraged customers to buy diesel vehicles but this step is about to upset almost everyone who thought diesel vehicles were an escape.

Pros:

1. The makers and manufacturers would have worked up plans to make the diesel vehicles a little less pollution emitting but the fact that they still contribute greatly to the pollution level in Delhi, making it a gas trap where breathing involves risks. They might no longer be smoky, noisy or slow as was the case earlier, but they still are and will continue to be a major contributor of pollution.

2. The very fact that diesel vehicles are more economical as compared to petrol vehicles is a cause for alarm. Large number of people find these cars affordable and would be willing to buy and use them for commuting on a daily basis which is easily possible via public transport. Increasing number of vehicles in a city already jammed by smog is dangerous in the long run.

3. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has stated that this ban is a good move and that diesel was in fact never meant for private cars. It was intended only for long-distance transport of heavy goods. It should have always been confined for industrial purposes and never for private transport. It is true that this measure alone would not be enough to put restraint on the pollution of Delhi but a start is better than nothing at all.

4. The European Union had experimented with diesel in the 90s and found that the balance between carbon dioxide (Co2) and Nitrogen oxides (Nox) is not the least bit satisfying. On one hand, diesel was found to produce lesser carbon dioxide and hence lesser global warming effects but on the other hand higher nitrogen oxides produced is directly related to cancerous diseases in humans.

5. London and Paris have already followed the progress and called upon measures to remove diesel vehicles from roads to prevent people mainly children from filthy pollutions. At some point of time, we will also need to address this issue and sooner is always better. By beginning with a ban on registration and renewal of these vehicles, the government has taken the correct first measure that there could be. Older vehicles are most definitely the messier and must be removed.

Cons:

1. A sudden ban in the registration of new diesel vehicles could mean heavy loss for the dealers and those customers who have already booked for these vehicles. It would lead to a loss of hundreds of crores of rupees. These decisions should never be allowed to be passed in haste without prior warnings and considerations of factors that could mean huge loss for the country. Customers have made full or part payments and the government is yet to make clarifications in this regard.

2. The ban is also inclusive of renewal of registration of diesel vehicles in Delhi which are more than 10 years old. Preserved vehicles for more than 10 years usually belongs to the poor or the middle class families who would be deeply wounded if this ban is put to effect. Would the government consider replacing their vehicles with petrol ones in return? Absolutely not!

3. It is the time of the year when automakers offer huge discounts as a part of the year-end sale. The most number of vehicles are booked in this period. All automaker giants have expressed concern over vehicles that have already been booked and are lying in the showroom’s inventory. A hasty decision at this time of the year is bound to receive frustrated response from the investors as well as customers.

4. Delhi being a city-states lures commuters on a daily basis from other regions like Noida and Gurgaon. A large number of vehicles on the roads of Delhi are therefore bound to be bearing the registration of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. How will a ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi help in the cleaning of air and avoiding pollution when there would still be huge numbers of diesel run vehicles on the roads of Delhi?

5. The basic idea behind ban of diesel vehicles is to contain pollution but NGT highly lagged behind in understanding that automakers have invested hugely in making diesel vehicles eco-friendly and that they no longer are emitting harmful gases as was the case with older vehicles. The board should have sat with the makers of these diesel vehicles and reached upon a proper long term solution like improvising on the quality of diesel available to public, etc.

6. Sadly, the ban callers also failed to understand that this would address only 2.5% of the pollution problem in Delhi. This had its economic impact adversely with Rs 6,614 crores of dent on the market capitalization of auto and parts manufacturers. Shares of large automakers also went down heavily causing investors a reputation complexity.

Conclusion:

This could be a knee jerk step taken in utter haste but it cannot be denied that this is for the larger good which the mainstream media is not the least bit interested in. people tend to believe whatever they see and hear and join the controversy via social media. The irony is that we are the same people who would go praises on the cities of the West when they implement such a ban, while we are faced with an environment full of smog, promising even worse days to come. Now that the reports of the IIT-Kanpur has come, this move shall be strongly condemned only to be revised and revisited after years of suffering from pollution.

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