This could turn out to be a relief for Toyota and Mercedes-Benz whose sales have been affected by the temporary ban on diesel vehicles powered by engines with a displacement of 2.0-litre and above in the NCR. The Ministry of Heavy Industries has appealed the apex court to lift this ban by claiming that the vehicles meet the current emissions norms set by the government.
As reported by ET, the ministry said, We would plead with the court that any vehicle that meets the prevalent emission norms may be allowed to ply on the roads and its registration may not be banned."
In addition, the ministry stated that the composition of pollutants is different for different fuel types. The petition mentioned: "It is stated that petrol emission is higher in carbon dioxide; CNG is high on nitrogen oxides; diesel is higher on particulate matter. Thus any perception of whether a particular fuel may be labelled as being more polluting than another depends on the parameter being emphasised,"
The ministry has also suggested different measures that the government will undertake to tackle the emissions misbalance. Firstly, there will be a new scrapping policy that will not allow old vehicles that don't fulfill the emissions norms to ply on roads. These vehicles would be replaced by fuel-efficient options. Secondly, the ministry has recommended stricter enforcement of PUC process to keep a check on the emissions output of all vehicles nearing their end of life. Additionally, the public transport fleet will be increased from the existing number. Vehicles running on electric, hybrid, ethanol and bio-diesel will be promoted by the ministry.
The Supreme Court issued a temporary ban which was supposed to seize on March 31, 2016, but the apex body ended up extending till April 31, 2016. Just a few days ago, the SC extended the ban for the second time till May 9, 2016.