The ban on registration of new diesel cars over 2,000 cc in Delhi will continue till further orders, the Supreme Court said Thursday, March 31. The announcement struck a major blow to auto-makers who were expecting the ban to be a lifted.
A bench led by Chief Justice TS Thakur said lift of the ban will be considered only if the car makers agree to one-time environment compensation on the registration of the vehicle, which could be around 25 or 30 per cent of the total vehicle cost, reports the Economic Times. The Supreme Court has given one month extension for converting diesel-run taxis into those powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).
The apex court in an order on Dec.16, 2015 banned registration of all diesel-run SUVs and luxury cars with engine capacity of 2,000 cc in Delhi and NCR from Jan.1 to March 31, 2016 to combat increasing pollution in the city. The same bench also directed all taxis in both Delhi and NCR to convert to CNG before March 2016.
Following the verdict, the auto sector has started expressing disappointment. "I am disappointed by this verdict. It seems the arguments that we have put forth have not been appreciated," Vikram Kirloskar of Toyota Kirloskar said to ETNow.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner Abdul Majeed told International Business Times, India: "Continued ban on bigger diesel vehicles will create uncertainty in the Indian automotive industry. Post the ban on bigger diesel vehicles in NCR by the Honorable Supreme court, a few positive steps have been taken by the Government such as move to BS VI from April 2020 instead of April 2023, increase in taxes, especially more on bigger vehicles through imposition of infrastructure cess in the latest budget. The government is also planning to come out with a scheme to replace old vehicles and give more push to environment-friendly vehicles. These measures should help to develop sustainable transportation in the country."