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Two days after the Supreme Court ordered a crackdown on old polluting vehicles from plying in the National Capital Region, the capital’s transport department issued a notice warning that 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles should not be run on city roads.

In its 2015 order, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned the plying of petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years in the national capital region (NCR). It also banned the parking of 15-year-old vehicles in any public area. “All the vehicle owners falling in this category (with petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years) are hereby informed through this public notice that they should not ply such vehicles in Delhi/NCR, failing which such vehicles will be impounded,” the transport department said in a public notice on Tuesday.

According to estimates, there are approximately one crore registered vehicles in the capital of which nearly 40 lakhs are vehicles that have outlived their expiry date—-15 years for petrol vehicles and 10 years for diesel vehicles.  To add to that nearly eight lakh new vehicles are registered in the Delhi every year. As per a SC directive, the transport department yesterday uploaded details of all old vehicles on its official website.

Pollution levels in northern cities in general have started to break records. Monday marked the most polluted day of the season in Delhi breaking the record set on Sunday by a slight margin. During Monday evening, Delhi’s air quality remained ‘very poor’ after hovering near ‘severe’ levels during the morning hours. The 24-hour average Air Quality Index (AQI) from 33 monitoring stations across Delhi was at 367 on Monday evening. Monday’s AQI was the maximum recorded daily average pollution level for this season in Delhi, which has been recording very poor air quality levels for six consecutive days now. Rohini is the worst-affected locality with an average AQI of 438–inching closer to the maximum possible level of 500 on the CPCB’s scale. On Tuesday, Delhi’s air quality turned ‘severe’ for the first time this season with stubble burning intensifying in neighbouring states, authorities said. The overall AQI at 3 pm was 401, falling in the ‘severe’ category, the highest this season, CPCB officials said.

The Environment Pollution Control Authority has said that private cars will be stopped from plying in the capital from Nov 1 Thursday if air pollution continues to worsen. “Let us hope the air pollution situation in Delhi doesn’t deteriorate or else we will have to stop plying of private vehicles. Only public transport will be used,” Bhure Lal, Chairman, Environment Pollution Control Authority, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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