New Delhi: With Delhi’s air quality turning “severe" on Tuesday, the transport department issued a notice warning that 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles plying on the city roads in violation of Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders will be impounded. In its 2015 order, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned the plying of petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years in the national capital region (NCR). It also banned the parking of 15-year-old vehicles in any public area. The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed the NGT order and directed that such vehicles be impounded.

“All the vehicle owners falling in this category (with petrol vehicles older than 15 years and diesel vehicles older than 10 years) are hereby informed through this public notice that they should not ply such vehicles in Delhi NCR, failing which such vehicles will be impounded," the transport department said in a public notice on Tuesday. According to rough estimates, there are 38-40 lakh such vehicles in Delhi alone, an official said.

The department has uploaded details of such vehicles on its official website.

Delhi’s air quality turned “severe" for the first time this season on Tuesday with crop stubble burning intensifying in neighbouring states, authorities said. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 3pm was 401, falling in the “severe" category, the highest this season, Central Pollution Control Board officials said.

The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) has indicated that restrictions on private vehicles could be imposed in Delhi, if the air quality plunges to emergency levels. “The recent forecast has shown air quality is set to worsen in the next few days and if it crosses severe levels, we will have to take the emergency steps. If need be, we will have to restrict the use of private vehicles on Delhi roads from 1 November. Only public transport will be used. This is part of the Graded Action Response Plan," said Bhure Lal, chairman of the EPCA, on Tuesday.

“It would be binding on the state government to procure transport from adjoining states. Metro will have to enhance service intensity and number of coaches. So, emphasis will be on public transport," he added.

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