Delhi government ordered not to buy diesel vehicles

Delhi's government has been banned from buying new diesel vehicles by India's National Green Tribunal in an effort to combat pollution in the city.

The tribunal, which was set up in 2010 to deal with legal cases involving environmental issues, ordered that government departments cancel any contracts for new vehicles using diesel fuel.

Traffic moves along a highway during morning rush hour in Delhi, India, on Oct 29, 2015.
Kuni Takahashi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Traffic moves along a highway during morning rush hour in Delhi, India, on Oct 29, 2015.

While the move will not affect private diesel car-owners, the tribunal has recommended that diesel vehicles should not be registered in the capital and has confirmed a ruling that diesel vehicles more than 10 years old will not have their registration renewed.

"In view of serious contribution of vehicular pollution to air quality of NCT Delhi, it is important that the government should take a serious view and a decision whether any diesel vehicle, old or new, should be registered in Delhi," the tribunal panel was reported to have said by the Press Trust of India.

The tribunal also criticised the government's odd-even plan to cut emissions in the city.

For a two-week period in January, vehicles with odd registration numbers will only be allowed to drive on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and with even numbers on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

However, the tribunal said the plan could simply lead to people buying two cars with different registration numbers.

Rationing road space in this way has been tried in several cities in the past. Most recently, Beijing enforced the policy to address the smog which enveloped the city in December. In 2014, Paris implemented the system for one day.

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