NGT RE­FUSES TO LIFT BAN ON 10­YEAR­OLD DIESEL VE­HI­CLES

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­porters@htlive.com

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.

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