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Auto ban: State to approach Calcutta High Court this week

This week,the state government is planning to file a fresh petition in the Calcutta High Court urging for the extension of the deadline on the ban on two-stroke auto-rickshaws that came into effect from January 1.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | January 6, 2009 1:37:44 am

This week,the state government is planning to file a fresh petition in the Calcutta High Court urging for the extension of the deadline on the ban on two-stroke auto-rickshaws that came into effect from January 1.

Announcing this on Monday,Subrata Mukhopadhyay,the junior standing counsel of the state government,said the government would seek the extension citing inadequate number of LPG and CNG fuelling stations in the city.

The decision was taken after state Home secretary Ardhendu Sen and Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty discussed the situation arising after the initial crackdown on autos with state advocate-general Bolai Roy.

Environmentalist Subhas Dutta,who had filed a PIL in March 2007 complaining that auto-rickshaws in the city were polluting the environment by emitting gases that cause pollution,told The Indian Express that government’s move to seek extension would create more problems. “The decision of the government to approach the court for an extension of the time limit will ultimately create a lot of problems,” said Dutta.

“The extension of the time limit is not enough.The government should prepare an action plan on the conversion of the autos to LPG mode. It should place a progress report before the court on the implementation of the action plan,” said Dutta.

He also said that while issuing the notification,the government had fixed the December 31,2008 time limit for the conversion of the autos to LPG or CNG mode. He said that at least one year would be required for the conversion of autos to the LPG mode.

New package to replace two-stroke autos on anvil
The government will come up with a fresh scheme for replacing two-stroke autos in addition to the existing one. This was decided at a meeting on Monday attended by transport secretary and state home secretary. Sources in the transport department said that the new scheme

would be more lucrative than the present one and would be finalized by the end of this week. State home secretary Ardhendu Sen said that till the next order of the High Court,the seizure of autos would remain at a slow pace.

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