Diesel vehicles & £100 million prize for low emission car are poll issues in the UK

Liberal Democrats want to ban all diesel and petrol vehicles from UK by 2040

GN Bureau | April 21, 2015


#diesel vehicles   #petrol   #London   #emission   #Nick Clegg   #UK   #London   #Liberal Democrats   #elections   #polls  

Photo: Arun Kumar

While India is still waiting for judiciary to enforce eco norms with ban on diesel vehicles in Delhi and Rohtang Pass, the emission issue is a subject of election campaign in the UK.

Liberal Democrats have announced £100m prize money for manufacturers who develop new ultra low emissions cars.

Liberal Democrats party leader and UK’s Deputy PM Nick Clegg has unveiled the plans during his election campaign as part of his party’s strategy to ban all petrol and diesel cars from UK’s roads by 2040. Clegg said he wanted to tackle 'dangerous levels of air pollution' which cut average life expectancy by up to eight months.

The Lib Dems want to "turbocharge" the sector and encourage manufacturers to further invest in ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and build a car that's affordable enough to become a best seller.

A Ulev is defined as a vehicle which has CO2 emissions of below 75g/km, far cleaner than the current 128.3g/km average for new cars.

Clegg is adamant it can be a success, though, if the Lib Dems win seats on May 7. He said: "For the first time since the 1970s, Britain now sells more cars than it buys. However, we need to go further and faster in making Britain a world leader in low emission vehicles by providing the right incentives and infrastructure to attract green investment and green jobs.

"This isn't just about re-balancing the economy, it's also about tackling dangerous levels of air pollution that reduce average life expectancy by up to eight months. Our prize fund will spark a low emission car revolution in Britain and help to build a stronger and greener economy for years to come."

Meanwhile in India, it is the judiciary with supreme court and the national green tribunal acting to control mushrooming diesel vehicles in sensitive places.

On Monday, the supreme court rejected a plea against an order of the NGT banning all vehicles which are more than 15 years old from plying on Delhi roads.

“Let us assist them (NGT) and not discourage them,” a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra said while dismissing a plea filed by a lawyer seeking setting aside of the decision of the green panel.

The bench further said the NGT was “only repeating the orders passed by Constitutional courts (SC/HCs) in the past.”

“All vehicles, diesel or petrol, which are more than 15 years old shall not be permitted to ply on the roads and wherever such vehicles of this age are noticed, the concerned authorities shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law including seizure of the vehicles in accordance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.

“The vehicles which are more than 15 years old, will not be permitted to be parked in any public area and they shall be towed away and challenged by the police in accordance with law. This direction would be applicable to all vehicles without exception i.e. two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers, light vehicles and heavy vehicles irrespective of whether commercial or otherwise,” the NGT, in its November 26, 2014 order, had said.

The NGT, besides banning 15-year-old diesel and petrol vehicles, had also said that no person shall be permitted to burn plastic or any other material in the open.

It had held that in all the markets in Delhi, “it shall be ensured tarred roads for regular traffic are not permitted to be used for parking thus causing avoidable congestion of traffic”.

It had also directed the Delhi government and others to create a web portal where an aggrieved person can upload the photographs depicting the pollution.

Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh government is bound to ban diesel vehicles being plied to Rohtang Pass and also introduce CNG buses in Manali.

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