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The Delhi government on Thursday banned entry of medium and heavy vehicles in the city from 1 October, 2022 to 28 February, 2023 to keep pollution in check this winter.

On 15 June, the Delhi government had written to its neighbouring states, including Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, urging them to allow only BS VI-compliant buses to enter the city from 1 October in order to help control air pollution.

The request was made to deal with the problem of vehicular pollution in the city, which officials here indicated, is contributed to in part by vehicles coming from the neighbouring state of Haryana.

The national capital witnesses high levels of air pollution in the winter months from October due to a multitude of factors, including stubble burning and vehicular traffic.

Usually, entry of such vehicles, from trucks to mini tempos, is banned for only 15-20 days either in November or December in the national capital.

According to reports, nearly 70,000-80,000 trucks enter Delhi every day. Vehicles that will be allowed into the city include CNG-run commercial vehicles; e-trucks; all trucks carrying essential goods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, eggs, ice, milk and other food items; and tankers carrying petroleum products.

Truckers and commercial vehicle associations have opposed the move, saying that those who deal with heavy vehicles will have to bear losses worth crores.

Rajendra Kapoor, president of All India Motor and Goods Transport Association, has said that banning entry of trucks in the capital for 15-20 days is acceptable, but four months is a long period and will impact transporters. "Businesses will be seriously affected. This will also impact the government’s revenue and might culminate in a hike in prices of food, vegetables and other items," he added.

He further said, “Why is the ban only for trucks? Why don’t you ban other diesel vehicles in Delhi? If diesel is a prominent pollutant, manufacturing of diesel vehicles should be banned. This is not a solution."

The air quality index (AQI) of Delhi on Thursday was recorded in the moderate category at 131 at around 8.05 am, data from CPCB showed.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

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