Long-distance and cost-effectiveness of diesel car are the reasons for MPs to use it
SUVs parked at Parliament House complex on Thuursday
B B Yadav
The Supreme Court may have banned the registry of new diesel cars above 2000cc, in the National Capital Region for three months, but the country’s legislators seem to prefer them as their ride of choice. As Delhi’s air turns smoggier by the day and pollution levels continued off the charts, the Parliament House Complex turns into a veritable showroom for the fanciest diesel cars.With licence plates from all over the country, countless Innovas, Fortuners, Boleros, Pajeros rolled in and out, ferrying well heeled legislators. Thrown in the mix were Land Rovers and Land Cruisers , Mercedes and BMWs. There was even an eyeball grabbing Porsche from Jharkhand that quietly sped away. Some of these vehicles were so luxurious they made the trusty, omnipresent Innova look quite pedestrian in comparison.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Such was their proliferation, that putting a name to the vehicle turned out to be a nigh impossible task.Each had an engine displacement higher than 2000cc, the line that the apex court has now drawn as to what is permissible. Unaffected by the ban, the gas guzzlers will continue to ply through January to March in and out of Delhi.Many MPs dna spoke to were a tad defensive about their cars. BJP MP Kirron Kher, who drove off in a Mercedes 4matic, said “do they expect MPs to now buy new cars? Where will the money come from for that. I only bought my car last year, and it’s not even from Delhi.” She added, “We’re not as rich as it seems, though we live well. They should have told us not to get our cars before.”PC Chacko, former Congress MP said he had a “personal liking” for diesel cars because of economy. “I travel almost 200 kms daily. A diesel car makes economical sense.” He added, “this is a knee jerk reaction by the court. Delhi does need to withdraw cars, its roads cannot sustain so many. But there is no plan, either by the centre or the state, on purifying air. They should focus on emission standards instead for diesel cars.”Economy as a reason, especially for long distance travel, was repeated by Deepender Singh Hooda, Congress MP. He also said that his main reason for investing in his car was comfort for a bad back. However, he added, “I am not principally against reducing diesel cars. We all must do our bit for the environment.”BJP MP Yogi Adityanath, before whooshing away in his Fortuner, only said that he would obey whatever law was formed, even if that meant not using his car.The only MP dna found firmly supportive of the ban was Selja Kumari, Congress Rajya Sabha member, who admitted to using Innovas, though only when travelling out of town. “Even this ban is a conservative measure, they need to go further. We only use diesel cars because they’re available,” she said.Environment minister Prakash Javadekar, perched outside in the sun, said that the government was already working towards providing better fuel, pre-poning the migration to Euro-6 emission standards.Privately, though, a senior leader grumbled a fair bit about the crackdown on diesel, saying that it took time to upgrade to better fuel and better car design, and that nothing could be solved instantly.Senior advocate KTS Tulsi, MP in the Rajya Sabha, one of the three people to bicycle to the Parliament said that MPs needed big cars in their constituencies, but shouldn’t drive them in Delhi. “We’re reducing the lifespan of our children and inflicting disease. We must wean people off private cars, and on to public transport.” He also plans to start cycling to the Supreme Court from now on. All big playersWith licence plates from all over the country, countless Innovas, Fortuners, Boleros, Pajeros rolled in and out, ferrying well heeled legislators. Thrown in the mix were Land Rovers and Land Cruisers , Mercedes and BMWs. There was even an eyeball grabbing Porsche from Jharkhand that quietly sped away. Some of these vehicles were so luxurious they made the trusty, omnipresent Innova look quite pedestrian in comparison.