The Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) told the NGT that it opposed the proposal of shifting its Inland Container Depot at Tughlakabad (ICD/TK) to Dadri in Gautam Budh Nagar. Instead, CONCOR maintained that the reason for heavy pollution in Delhi was dust and not the number of container trucks entering Delhi.
The capital’s “proximity to Rajasthan” and the “resulting dust from the desert” was the prime culprit of Delhi’s high pollution, not vehicular pollution, said counsel for CONCOR Pinaki Mishra. “Even if we suppress the IIT Delhi report, that said air pollution caused by vehicles is only 18.5 per cent, it can’t be more than 25 per cent. In Delhi, the reason for heavy air pollution is dust…,” he said.
Mishra argued that “as much as 85 per cent” of the goods that come to ICD/TK are consumed in Delhi/NCR and added that shifting the container depot to Dadri would be counter productive as “one container has enough material to fit at least three trucks. If the depot is shifted to Dadri, pollution in Delhi will increase instead of decreasing,” he said.
In August 2014, Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung, then in charge of the city, had identified the “shifting of inland container depots to other locations” as a crucial long-term measure in curbing air pollution. Connected by four rail lines via the Tughlakabad railway station, officials maintained that they import cargo via rail in an effort to decrease congestion.
But despite having a 2-hectare slot for parking over 750 trailers, hundreds of trucks and container carriers are parked on the road outside ICD/TK. According to the Traffic police, the road — connecting Faridabad, Mehrauli and Badarpur with South Delhi — gets clogged on most nights.
Meanwhile, the NGT slammed the Haryana government and National Highway Authority of India for delay in construction of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal and Eastern Expressway.