Court Asks Government to Stop Buying Diesel Vehicles in Delhi

  • Order comes as New Delhi prepares steps to curb air pollution
  • India's capital plans to restrict number of cars from Jan. 1

India’s green court on Friday asked the government to stop buying new diesel-powered vehicles in New Delhi as the country’s capital takes steps to curb emission.

The National Green Tribunal has asked the Delhi state administration, the federal government, state-owned companies and all government-related organizations not to register any diesel-engine vehicles in the city, Raj Panjwani, president of the National Green Tribunal Bar Association, said Friday, citing an order of the court’s chairman Swatanter Kumar.

The order comes as the government in New Delhi prepares to restrict the number of cars on its roads by implementing license plate-based driving bans starting Jan. 1. The world’s most polluted city is grappling with rising levels of unclean air as winter sets in, triggering a surge in respiratory diseases.

The federal government last month proposed to bring forward implementation of stricter emission norms for new vehicles. The country’s automakers group on Thursday said it supports advancing implementation of new rules from 2019.

The U.S. embassy in New Delhi on Friday afternoon classified the city’s air as very unhealthy. It advised people with heart or lung diseases, older adults, and children to avoid all outdoor physical activity.

Shares of Tata Motors Ltd., the country’s biggest maker of commercial vehicles, fell 3 percent, the most since Sept. 29, in Mumbai. Ashok Leyland Ltd. declined 3.1 percent. Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. dropped 2.2 percent and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. slipped 0.4 percent.

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