Yesterday, three carmakers jointly filed a plea against the Supreme Court's ban on the registration of diesel vehicles above 2000cc in Delhi. The court hearing was scheduled for today, January 5, 2016. And it turns out the Supreme Court remains un-moved.
Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota had joined forces to move the SC to re-examine this decision, stating that large engine-d diesel vehicles were only a small part of the pollution problem. The manufacturers cited an independent analysis report, claiming that a majority of traffic comprised two- and three-wheelers (55 lakh, according to data submitted) and that emissions from these vehicles were more harmful to the environment than diesel-powered four-wheelers.
The three carmakers made their case to the jury this morning but the Supreme Court has decided that the ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2000cc in Delhi will stay. The SC has further asked them to produce documentation to substantiate the assertion that two- and three-wheelers are more lethal to the environment than SUVs.
It is important to note at this point that diesel vehicles are being targetted in Delhi owing to the Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) that is an output of diesel combustion. And the growing concern in Delhi right now, among other things, is the density of PM2.5 (particulates sized 2.5 microns or smaller) in the air. But the manufacturers are trying to draw the attention of the court to the byproducts of petrol combustion - which include some amount of solid particulate matter too.
See more on this in our Simple Tech story on why are diesels being targetted in Delhi
Another fact that comes to light is that modern diesel engines are claimed to be BSIV compliant - which means that newer diesel vehicles should be less polluting than the older ones already on the roads. A point that Mahindra company secretary, Narayan Shankar, made in his letter to the Supreme Court earlier.
Currently, Toyota, Mahindra and Mercedes-Benz are the major players in the automobile sector that are affected by this diesel ban - Toyota's Fortuner; Mahindra's Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 and the diesel variants of all the Mercedes cars have been highly successful in the Delhi region and this SC decision is bound to bring down sales.
Stay tuned to OVERDRIVE for more updates on the Delhi diesel ban.