NGT REFUSES TO LIFT BAN ON 10YEAROLD DIESEL VEHICLES
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday dismissed the Union government’s plea asking for modification in its order banning 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR.
The green court, which was hearing the petition as part of the Vardhaman Kaushik case, which deals with air pollution in the city, noted that emission from diesel vehicles is carcinogenic in nature and one diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or otherwise 40 CNG vehicles.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar dismissed the Centre’s plea on the ground that the Supreme Court has also junked a similar plea.
The NGT bench said that the Union ministry of road transport and highways, which had sought modification of its April 7, 2015 order, did not file any review plea and moved the tribunal “in the guise of seeking modification”.
The bench which delivered the judgment also included Justices Jawad Rahim, RS Rathore and one expert member, BS Sajwan.
The Centre had earlier opposed the ban, saying there was a “misconception” that only diesel pollutes the environment.
Opposing the ban on decadeold diesel vehicles, the Union ministry of heavy industries had told the tribunal in April that diesel was not the only polluting fuel as they have higher fuel efficiency which led to 10-15% lower carbon dioxide emission compared to a petrol vehicle.
It also referred to the Delhi government’s Odd-Even road rationing scheme and said that the Central Pollution Control Board has unequivocally established that pollution levels did not come down due to reduction in vehicles.
On January 13, the Centre had moved the Supreme Court seeking a lift of the ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi and NCR, saying it was affecting the economically weaker sections.
Noting that diesel is the prime source of air pollution in Delhi, the NGT had held on November 26, 2014, that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old, will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
The green court also issued an order last year directing the Delhi RTO to deregister all diesel vehicles operating in the city that are over 10 years old.