100 signatures reached
To: Suvendu Adhikari, Minister of Transport, West Bengal
Kolkata for Clean Air: No more diesel vehicles
1. Ban the sale of new diesel vehicles in the city
2. Phase out old diesel vehicles by 2022
Why is this important?
Kolkata has been termed India’s ‘Diesel Capital’. This title is not a stretch. The City of Joy has been reeling under an air pollution crisis.
Officials from West Bengal Pollution Control Board recently pointed out that the air quality in Kolkata has been exceptionally bad this winter. A few weeks ago, the air quality index at Rabindra Bharati University on BT road touched 500. In November last year, Kolkata’s air touched severe levels, toppling Delhi as the most polluted metro.
According to estimates, 99% of commercial vehicles in Kolkata are diesel-driven. A 2016 report by Centre for Science and Environment stated that diesel constitutes 45% of total oil consumption in the city. Besides the high carbon content in diesel, vehicles that run on it also contribute to more suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the air. This particulate matter is toxic -- it causes lung damage and is responsible for many respiratory illnesses like asthma.
In November, the NGT stated that auto emissions were the leading cause of air pollution in Kolkata. Unlike cities like Delhi that have had public transport running on CNG for a few years now, there is no alternative for diesel in Kolkata. And the city’s vehicle count is just a fourth of Delhi. It’s clear that for the city’s air quality to improve, phasing out of diesel vehicles is essential.
On December 31, the State Transport Department issued a notification banning the plying of vehicles older than 15 years in the city.
Together, we can urge Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari to ban the sale of any new diesel vehicles. Sign this petition now.