The Supreme Court on Monday sought a reply from the Centre on a PIL seeking an updated national auto fuel policy for stringent enforcement of fuel emission norms,even as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) conceded there was no policy decision on fixing the age-limit of vehicles in the country.
A Bench led by CJI Altamas Kabir issued notices to Union Ministries of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Finance and the Central Pollution Control Board on a petition by Arvind Gupta,an economist and a researcher.
Representing him,advocate Santosh Paul apprised the Bench that the runaway pollution had increased manifold due to indifference of the authorities towards enforcing strict emission norms and hence citizens fundamental right to a pollution-free environment was being violated.
The Respondents have been lax in performance of their duties and therefore the Euro IV and V emission norms on diesel and petrol vehicles have not been implemented till date. The policies in place are hopelessly out-of-date and out-of-sync with the realities, Paul argued while citing extremely high air pollution in several cities.
The PIL sought an updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards to prescribe emission norms in tune with EURO V and VI,besides necessary directives to fit existing vehicles with required technologies and a fresh National Auto Fuel Policy to implement EURO V. It also sought discontinuation of subsidised diesel for luxuries and commercial purposes.