The Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) has issued directives to the State Governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) for the strict implementation of timelines regarding inter-city and inter-state bus services to and from Delhi and other cities and towns within the NCR. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued a press release on these directives.
The CAQM has been actively engaging with NCR states to develop comprehensive action plans aimed at transitioning to cleaner and more efficient bus services in the region. The ultimate goal is to have electric vehicles (EVs) for all bus services in the NCR within five years, with the medium-term objective of adopting EVs, compressed natural gas (CNG), and BS-VI diesel buses within three years.
In discussions with the respective state governments, the availability of EVs, CNG, and BS-VI Diesel buses, as well as the status of new procurements, have been reviewed. Additionally, each state is planning to replace and phase out older BS-III and BS-IV diesel buses, procuring new BS-VI Diesel buses during 2023-24.
The planned procurements are as follows:
- Haryana: 1313 new BS-VI Diesel buses.
- Rajasthan: 590 new BS-VI Diesel buses, with outsourcing services for an additional 440 BS-VI Diesel buses.
- Uttar Pradesh: More than 1650 new BS-VI Diesel buses.
The states are also actively procuring CNG and EVs in line with their respective EV policies.
In an advisory dated July 19, 2023, the CAQM set a critical milestone, directing that all buses originating from NCR areas and traveling to Delhi must be EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel vehicles effective November 1, 2023.
To ensure the effective implementation of these measures, the CAQM, in a recent directive, has stipulated the following targeted timelines:
- All bus services between any city or town in Haryana and Delhi shall be operated exclusively with EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses from November 1, 2023.
- All bus services between any NCR city or town in Rajasthan and Delhi, as well as other cities and towns in NCR, shall be operated solely with EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses from November 1, 2023.
- All bus services from non-NCR areas of Rajasthan to Delhi shall also transition to EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses by January 1, 2024.
- All bus services between any NCR city or town in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi shall be operated exclusively with EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses from November 1, 2023.
- All buses plying within the 8 NCR districts of UP shall operate with BS-VI Diesel compliant buses from April 1, 2024.
- Buses traveling between non-NCR areas of the State to Delhi and NCR areas of other States shall be compliant with BS-VI diesel buses from July 1, 2024.
These directives are applicable to all bus services operated by respective State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and private entities.
Effective November 1, 2023, a substantial portion of bus services connecting Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh to Delhi will be required to use EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses. The goal is to achieve operation exclusively with EVs, CNG, or BS-VI Diesel buses throughout the entire NCR by July 1, 2024.
The CAQM has also called upon the Transport Department and Traffic Police Department of GNCTD, along with NCR States, to ensure rigorous enforcement and monitoring of these directives, including compliance by State PSUs and private entities. This initiative marks a significant step toward cleaner and more sustainable public transportation in the NCR.