By: Shubhangi Misra
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stayed its order on impounding of diesel trucks that are more than 10 years old for two weeks. The order came after the Delhi government appealed to the Tribunal that services like supply of vegetables and clearing of garbage would be severely affected. “There shall be no impounding of vehicles for two weeks. We make it clear that we are varying our order only for two weeks,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) hailed the decision. But its general secretary Praveen Khandelwal urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to constitute a special working group, comprising of senior officials, to help the government arrive at a permanent solution to the problem of pollution by trucks. He also urged the government to take into account all the causes of pollution.
Khandelwal argued that instead of banning such vehicles, alternative cleaner fuels should be developed and the policy of retrofits be used to reduce emission from old trucks.
He said, “About 25,000 commercial vehicles that enter the capital on a regular basis are more than 10 years old. Each of these trucks support two families (of the owner and of the driver). Banning these vehicles is arbitrary and it will financially harm individual vehicle owners. The government needs to arrive at a more solid decision. Banning trucks won’t solve the problem in the long run.”
Delhi Transporters’ Association general secretary Sundeep Jain said the NGT order had pronounced disaster for truckers and people associated with them. He urged the government to intervene in the matter. “The government should consider importing devices from the US that minimise pollution by 60 per cent and allow fitting them in existing vehicles,” he said.
(The reporter is an intern at The Indian Express)