The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to respond to a plea which has sought its direction on issues, including availability of sufficient gas supply in the NCR and review of status of existing coal-based power plants, aimed at tackling the problem of air pollution.
The application has also sought the top court’s direction to implement the 2015 emission standards for power plants by December this year and also direct the Centre to strengthen the distribution of electricity in the National Capital Region (NCR).
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, representing the Centre, about it and he said that he would take instructions and file a response, if necessary.
The application has been filed by an advocate, who has been appointed as an amicus curiae to assist the court in the matter. During the hearing, the court also observed that it would consider the issue of deadline for implementing BS-VI emission standards for vehicles.
The plea has sought a direction that “sufficient gas supply be made available so that all power generation in the NCR is from power plants using gas as their principal fuel”.
It has also sought ban on import of pet coke and furnace oil, review of status of existing coal-based power plants and a time-bound switch over to natural gas. It has said the Centre should be directed to oversee measures to strengthen the distribution of electricity in NCR to ensure that there was no shortfall in availability of power on 24X7 basis.
Meanwhile, the bench asked the Centre, amicus and the counsel appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board to identify the money, which was collected under various heads pursuant to orders passed by the court in pollution matter, so that it could be properly utilised.
The court, however, did not pass any order on a separate application filed by the amicus seeking a direction for collection of a compensatory sum on petrol and diesel in the NCR which would be used for measures to deal with pollution in the region.
The plea has also sought a direction to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas to examine the feasibility of existing technologies and present a workable scheme on the use and disposal of crop stubble to the court.
The court was hearing a PIL filed in 1985 by environmentalist M C Mehta who had raised the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-NCR.