India’s Supreme Court today postponed a Sunday deadline for all buses in Delhi to convert from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas, saying that commuters would be inconvenienced if diesel buses were taken off the road because the city has done little to comply with a court order to improve air quality. About 9,000 of the 12,000 municipal buses in Delhi still run on diesel. The court gave the city until mid-October to come up with a viable plan for converting the buses and ensuring a steady supply of the natural gas. Most taxis and auto-rickshaws have been converted to run on natural gas, but the city has authorized only one company to supply the stuff, forcing owners of the vehicles to wait in lines for hours to get it. Delhi has some of the highest levels of particulate pollution in the world, and the World Health Organization estimates that as many as 100,000 Indians die each year because of air pollution.
Get Grist in your inbox