On 30th April, the Supreme Court of India will conduct a day-long hearing to decide on the sales of diesel vehicles. EPCA (Environment Pollution Control Authority) has suggested to impose a ‘green tax’ of 30 per cent on diesel vehicles. This could emerge as a major setback for all the carmakers in the country. As a reminder, the registration of diesel vehicles above 2000cc in the National Capital is already banned.
Carmakers that will get affected the most, if the new tax is imposed, are Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota and all luxury players since majority of their sales come from diesel vehicles.
A report published in ET says that the diesel emission issue was discussed for quite a long time at the Centre for Science and Environment’s Right to Clean Air conclave which was organised on Tuesday.
In the conclave, Ray Minjares from ICCT (International Council on Clean Transport) addressed the gathering of people working on air quality. In the speech, he gave reference of several reports conducted on the impact of diesel exhaust (DE) on human health. It included the Government of Canada’s “Human health risk assessment for diesel exhaust” that was released earlier in March 2016. The report talks about the potential dangerous health effects associated with the use of diesel fuel in Canada.
The report says that DE ic carcinogenic in humans and is associated with the development of lung cancer. “Although the risk estimates are generally small, the population health risks are considered to be significant given the ubiquitous presence of DE emissions in Canada. The evidence is also suggestive that DE may be implicated in the development of cancer of the bladder in humans, but further research is required to allow definitive conclusions to be drawn,” says the report.
The official from ICCT suggested that the report of Canada Government be shared with the Apex Court on April 30. An other study done on diesel emissions in the US – 2015 Multiple air toxics exposure study – also found that diesel sources include 68 per cent of air toxic risk in Los Angeles.
Chief programme officer of ICCT, Fanta Kamakate (Known for exposing Volkswagen’s diesel scandal) said that India should come up with its own in-use compliance programme to test in-use vehicles against their original emission standards and then propose a mandatory recall policy for emissions-related defects. The official also revealed that ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) found 1.5L diesel cars to have high CO emissions last month.