NGT directs Delhi govt to ban 10-yr old diesel vehicles

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 4, 2016 8:24 pm
A cyclist rides on a road enveloped by smoke and smog, on the morning following Diwali festival in New Delhi, India, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. As Indians wake Monday to smoke-filled skies from a weekend of festival fireworks for the Hindu holiday of Diwali, New Delhi's worst season for air pollution begins, with dire consequences. A new report from UNICEF says about a third of the 2 billion children in the world who are breathing toxic air live in northern India and neighboring countries, risking serious health effects including damage to their lungs, brains and other organs. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup) A cyclist rides on a road enveloped by smoke and smog, on the morning following Diwali festival in New Delhi. (AP Photo)

Strictly enforcing the direction to stop over 10-year old diesel vehicles from plying on the roads in the national capital, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday ordered Delhi government which faced a barrage of searching questions on the alarming air pollution levels. “Why are you not effectively stopping 10 years old diesel vehicles? Issue directions to all the concerned authorities to take off all diesel vehicles which are over 10 years old from the roads,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench expressed its displeasure that its earlier order banning 10 years old diesel vehicles was not being seriously executed and hoards of them were still visible on the roads with the traffic police doing nothing in the matter. Advocate Tarunvir Singh Khehar, who appeared for Delhi government, told the tribunal that the authorities were challaning such vehicles but “we don’t have space to park the impounded vehicles.”

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“We are challaning such vehicles but we have no space for parking. We have identified 21 such places,” he said. To this, the NGT asked him to move an application before it in this regard so that appropriate directions could be passed to the Delhi Development Authority to provide space for parking of seized vehicles.

However, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who was appearing for the Centre, told the green panel that diesel vehicles were not the major contributor to pollution and vehicular emission. She said no coercive steps should be taken against diesel vehicles until the matter was heard in its entirety. The bench posted the matter for hearing on November 8.