Over 400 heavy and medium goods vehicles were returned from Delhi borders due to a ban on their entry as the city's air quality remained severe for the second consecutive day on Friday, an official said.
The entry of heavy and medium goods vehicles into the national capital was banned for three days beginning 11 pm on Thursday night.
According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar, 1,008 vehicles were allowed entry into the city from 11 pm on Thursday till 6 am on Friday because they were carrying essential goods.
As many as 445 vehicles were returned from Delhi borders, he added.
Another officer said many of the trucks did not come to Delhi borders either by choice or because they were returned by police from the neighbouring districts of Delhi.
A senior official at the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) said the concessionaire manning toll plazas on the border entry points has been directed to ensure strict enforcement of the ban.
There are 13 toll plazas on which the SDMC collects taxes and environment cess through which 85 per cent of the goods carriers enter Delhi. Around 50,000-60,000 trucks enter Delhi daily, he said.
Meanwhile, several truck owners protested against the ban, alleging that they are being made "soft targets" by the government.
"The business suffers when such bans come into force because an idle truck incurs daily expense of around Rs 7-8,000 to its owner. The ban should be lifted at the earliest as Delhi's air quality has improved," said Rajinder Kapoor, president of the Delhi Goods Transport Organisation.
The Transport Department of the city government had issued a notification regarding the ban. It has also appealed to private diesel car owners to avoid using their vehicles during the period.
As per the notification, the entry of heavy and medium goods vehicles into the national capital was banned from 11 pm of November 8 till 11 pm of November 11.
However, vehicles carrying vegetables, fruits, grains, milk, eggs, ice etc, and tankers carrying petroleum products are exempted from the ban.