NGT Orders to Scrap Vehicles Older Than 15 Years in Bengal

NGT Orders to Scrap Vehicles Older Than 15 Years in West Bengal

Image: Telegraph India

Every day when one travels to work, goes grocery shopping, or any other place – one comes across at least a handful of vehicles spreading smoke billows from the exhaust pipe. Evidently, there’s no denying that vehicles are one of the biggest air pollution contributors. To tackle vehicular pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has now ordered the West Bengal government to scrap all 15-year-old vehicles, including private vehicles, within the next six months.

Mostly, the BS-IV vehicles will get phased out after this order, which is applicable across the state. As per the 2019 survey, Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, had around 18,20,382 private 15-year-old vehicles. It’s estimated that the entire state has more than 65 lakh private vehicles that must be phased out. If we talk about the commercial vehicles in Kolkata, around 2,19,137 units must go to scrap. Therefore, NGT’s eastern bench in Kolkata passed the order to take a step towards a greener and cleaner future.

NGT Orders to Scrap Vehicles Older Than 15 Years in West Bengal

Image: Arif Hossain Mondal

The large numbers of operable vehicles on the roads are one of the big reasons for air pollution in Kolkata and Howrah. In Kolkata, there is around 10 percent of PM10 pollution that includes coarse particles that can make you sick if inhaled. 25 percent is PM2.5 pollution that includes ultrafine particles, which are around 30 times thicker compared to human hair. The report about the pollution particles comes from the State Pollution Control Board.

According to green activist Subhash Dutta, who filed a petition in the NGT in 2021, the order to phase out older vehicles is quite historic. But it is just the beginning and a lot of work needs to be done to control air pollution. There are around one crore of older vehicles in the state. So, removing them within six months is quite the task. But the authorities and activists are pursuing the matter very actively.

The state government said that it has taken several measures to reduce pollution in Kolkata and the neighboring region. It has already introduced electric buses and CNG buses to control vehicular pollution. Other states can take inspiration from this move and need to take strict actions to minimize the impact of air pollution.

Via: Telegraph India

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