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Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services (AMTS) has challenged the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Gujarat High Court against its directive to the state to purchase only CNG vehicles. The hearing is on Monday. The NGT order was passed following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an Ahmedabad-based resident urging them to ask the Gujarat government to purchase only CNG vehicles for public transport bodies as diesel ones caused high level of air pollution.
AMTS has also questioned the jurisdiction of the central office of NGT as the PIL was originally filed in Pune, from where it was transferred to Delhi.
Deputy municipal commissioner of Ahmedabad and transport manager Arjav Shah said the final order of NGT would be passed on March 28.
AMTS has argued that the state Road Transport Office (RTO) gives them permission to use diesel buses because it is only concerned whether the vehicles are complying with Euro 4 emission norms or not.
An AMTS official added the petitioner, Mushtaq Qadri, was not also found at his declared address – in Jamalpur, Ahmedabad. “Moreover, the petitioner has already withdrawn his case from Pune (western region) where it was originally filed about six months back,” he pointed out.
AMTS officials further argue that the two major automobiles manufacturers, Tata and Ashok Leyland, do not produce CNG buses unless they receive specific orders. “The CNG vehicles have much higher operation and maintenance cost. Besides the diesel vehicles are also like CNG buses, Euro 4 compliant. The objective is to achieve Euro 4 emission norms, fuel is secondary,” said the an official.
A view also prevails among the higher-ups in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation that unlike Delhi, the problem of Ahmedabad is not that of air pollution due to use of diesel. The problem arises due to dust, therefore, choice of fuel does not matter much here.