The Supreme Court banned on Wednesday new diesel-guzzling luxury cars and SUVs from hitting Delhi roads, saying all registration of new diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of over 2000 cc will be stopped until March 31 to improve the Capital’s filthy air.
The order hurts luxury car-makers across the board as most of their best-sellers are diesel-driven. For instance, the smallest diesel engine for segment leader Mercedes is 2,143cc. Existing diesel cars can, however, continue to ply.
There would be no sale of popular vehicles such as Toyota’s Innova, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Scorpio, the Tata Safari and Sumo, and Mitsubishi Pajero during the ban period.
The order comes close on the heels of another radical, if controversial, proposal by the Delhi government that would keep odd and even numbered vehicles off the roads on alternate days from January 1 next year.
The decision came after strong observations on Tuesday by a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur that asserted they would not allow the rich to buy such vehicles that polluted the air and affected public health.
“Why should a rich man travel in a diesel car and pollute the environment,” the bench said.
Delhi currently has 8.5 million vehicles — up 97% from 2000 — and adds 1,400 new cars to its streets every day, contributing to a hazardous blanket of smog.