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Staff crunch cripples move to keep heavy vehicles off city

Published : Nov 4, 2016, 1:42 am IST
Updated : Nov 4, 2016, 1:42 am IST

In the wake of severe shortage of manpower, the government agencies are finding it extremely difficult to prevent commercial vehicles from the neighbouring states, which are not destined for Delhi, to

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 03DEL3.JPG

In the wake of severe shortage of manpower, the government agencies are finding it extremely difficult to prevent commercial vehicles from the neighbouring states, which are not destined for Delhi, to enter the national capital. This startling fact has come to light in a status report prepared by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority for NCR, which has drawn up an emergency plan to ensure that trucks registered before 2006 are not allowed to enter the city during the winter season.

Between January 21 and April 25, 2016, Haryana had set up 13 check posts that had resulted in diversion of 6,00,880 vehicles from the national capital. But the number of vehicles diverted during this period from Uttar Pradesh was only 3,278.

According to EPCA report, there has been a lack of clarity on the number of commercial vehicles, including trucks, which enter or leave Delhi each day. There are 127 entry points, of which 9 are major ones. Light good vehicles, which constitute 65 per cent of the total commercial vehicles entering Delhi, contribute 39 per cent of the particulate matter load and 42 per cent of the nitrogen oxide load. Though only a quarter of all the commercial vehicles, heavy duty trucks entering Delhi, end up emitting about 61 per cent of particulate and 58 per cent of nitrogen oxide load. Among the heavy duty trucks, the 3 axle trucks, which are about 16 per cent of the total number of commercial vehicles, are the highest emitters entering Delhi.

There is also no reliable data on commercial traffic that is not destined for Delhi. The MCD data shows that the trucks turned back, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court, are a mere 0.3 per cent of the total traffic. In other words, even taking the MCD estimate of the number of light and heavy vehicles, just 90 such vehicles were not destined for Delhi and the rest 29,000 are needed for business in the city.

A rapid diagnostic survey was done in 2014 only on the roads approaching NH 1 and NH 10 entry to Delhi. Truck drivers were randomly surveyed and asked about their origin and destination and about trip and commodities they carried. This rapid and limited survey found that some 23 per cent of all commercial vehicles travelling on NH 1 were not destined for Delhi. In the same survey it was found that over 40-60 per cent of heavy trucks (3 axle and above) were not destined for Delhi.

The EPCA is now going to request the Supreme Court to take a view that any further exemptions granted to trucks entering Delhi will destroy compliance and effectiveness of its directions.

It said that the diversion of vehicles from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh was strictly done over winter months in 2015-16. A status report prepared by the EPCA said that the state government has severe staff limitations to keep up the active diversion of vehicles.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi