No relief for diesel carmakers, SC to continue hearing on May 9

Automakers wanting to sell diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2,000cc and above in Delhi and the National Capital Region will have to wait some more time as the Supreme Court has still not finalised the case. The temporary ban will continue for some more time.

At a special sitting on Saturday, the apex court heard the arguments lawyers representing the industry, but provided no relief. The hearing will continue on May 9.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) told the court that the ban on new diesel cars would be counterproductive, as older versions of diesel cars contribute more to pollution.

Petrol cars were also major polluters and even CNG emissions resulted in high levels of mono-nitrogen oxides, a major cause of respiratory and other diseases, he told the court. Diesel passengers vehicles accounted for just 1.5 per cent of air pollution in Delhi, and a mere 0.5 per cent of particulate matter 2.5 emissions.

Sanghvi also cited a study by IIT-Kanpur, which indicated dust contributed 38 per cent to pollution in the NCR, industries 11 per cent, domestic activities 12 per cent, concrete batching six per cent and municipal solid wastes and diesel generator sets 13 per cent.

Vehicles – including diesel, petrol, CNG and others – contributed 20 per cent to Delhi’s air pollution, added Singhvi. But in the public perspective, vehicular pollution was the major villain, he said.