New Delhi: Delhi Traffic Police today impounded over 250 vehicles as they continued with efforts to enforce the National Green Tribunal's ban on the plying in the national capital of diesel-run vehicles more than 10-years old. "A total of 263 diesel vehicles were impounded in compliance with the NGT order till 4 P.M. today.

These vehicles can now be released only by court order," said Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Muktesh Chander. Yesterday, 96 vehicles were impounded during a dedicated drive. The full-scale drive will continue till midnight with Town Inspectors, ACPs and DCPs in the field for catching errant vehicles. All entry points to Delhi are being covered, added Chander.

In a significant step to improve ambient air quality, NGT had yesterday held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10-years old would not be permitted to ply in Delhi. Noting that diesel was the prime source of air pollution in Delhi, NGT said the situation was so alarming that people have been even advised to leave Delhi due to the adverse effects the city's air quality may have on health.

"A number of countries like Brazil, China, Denmark, etc. have prohibited diesel vehicles or are in the process of doing away with them and imposing stringent taxes on such vehicles. "We have already noticed that certain stringent measures need to be taken to ensure that the residents of Delhi do not travel closer to ill-health with each breath they take.

"Thus, we direct all diesel vehicles, heavy or light, which are 10-years-old will not be permitted on the roads of Delhi and NCR," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar had said. The Tribunal had also directed the transport department of Delhi government and other authorities concerned to compile comprehensive data of the registration of all vehicles which are 10 or more than 10 years old.