The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer (SIAM) has demanded a comprehensive and independent study on air pollution in Delhi.
The demand from Siam comes in the wake of the National Green Tribunal's order banning over 10-year-old diesel vehicles from plying in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The order was issued based on a report that vehicles are the leading contributor to air pollution. However, the ban has been stayed till July 13.
"The various official and non-official studies conducted over the years have shown widely varying results that were inconclusive and did not help in policy decisions," said Vikram S Kirloskar, president, Siam and vice-chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor.
He also said that there is no doubt that vehicles add to pollution as they burn fossil fuel. "But their contribution has reduced over the past decade due to higher emission norms," he added.
Studies have found that on holidays and weekends, when significantly lesser numbers of vehicles ply on roads, there has been no significant difference to the level of PM2.5 (particulate matter) in Delhi. (PM is microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth's atmosphere). Claiming vehicle density in Delhi is much lower to Chennai, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Kirloskar said the low PM2.5 in these cities does not establish that vehicles are the major source of pollution.
Siam has argued that while people have a right to clean air they also have a right to mobility. "We cannot sacrifice one for the other. The stakes are too high."