The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has told the National Green Tribunal that the draft emission standards for diesel locomotives will be finalised within two weeks. The apex pollution monitoring body told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that it would place the interim norms before August 30, the next date of hearing. “The counsel appearing for CPCB submits that within two weeks the interim guidelines will be placed on record,” the bench noted. The lawyer appearing for CPCB said the emission standards for diesel locomotives were still to be decided and they would send to the MoEF after finalisation.
The submission came in the wake of the green panel’s direction to set standards in this regard and ensure that the railway locomotive engines don’t cause pollution.
The CPCB’s interim report, titled “Exhaust Emission Benchmarks for Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways”, aims to fix standards and protocols for the sector to achieve the targets submitted by India under the Paris climate change agreement.
According to the report, the contribution of emissions from the transport sector on the whole has risen 3.5 times since 1990 to stand at 250 million tonne carbon dioxide, or 13.5 per cent of the total emissions in 2013.
The Railways contributed 9.7 per cent of this figure (24.7 million tonne). Globally, however, only 3.5 per cent of the emissions from the transport sector are attributed to the rail sector, CPCB’s report said.
“The changes in the energy sources allowed for a reduction of the share of rail transport carbon dioxide emissions from 24 per cent in 1990 to less than 10 per cent in 2013, while rail activity doubled in the same period,” the draft report by CPCB said.
Earlier, the tribunal had directed MoEF to hold a meeting with the CPCB and Railways and submit a report on emission standards for diesel locomotive within six weeks.
However, when the matter came up for hearing, the Environment Ministry sought more time, saying “the standards are yet to be fixed and one year’s time is required for completion”.
The Railways had earlier submitted international standards for emissions from diesel locomotive railway engines and filed a data sheet indicating the emissions from 30 railway engines.
According to the data sheet, the emission levels in the tested 30 railway engines were much above international standards.
The directions came during the hearing a petition filed by Dwarka resident S K Goyal about harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.