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Posted at: Sep 14, 2017, 9:05 PM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 9:05 PM (IST)

NGT dismisses Centre’s plea, refuses to lift ban on 10-yr-old diesel vehicles

NGT dismisses Centre’s plea, refuses to lift ban on 10-yr-old diesel vehicles
The NGT said the use of diesel in vehicles was highly toxic carcinogenic and led to untimely fatality. File photo
Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 14

It is virtually end of the road for all 10-year-old diesel-run vehicles in the National Capital Region (NCR), including Delhi, after the National Green Tribunal on Thursday rejected the Centre’s plea to lift or relax the ban, saying the government failed to prove such vehicles didn’t harm public health.

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A three-member Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said emissions from diesel vehicles much more than those run on petrol or CNG, besides being carcinogenic that shortened life span of people. One new diesel car is equivalent to 24 petrol and 84 new CNG cars on road, it said.

Referring to a Central Pollution Control Board report, the NGT said the use of diesel in vehicles was highly toxic carcinogenic and led to untimely fatality. “The report speaks loudly, that it is the most harmful of the exhaust emissions which release particulate emission that is carcinogenic. The report declares one new diesel car is equivalent to 24 petrol cars and 84 new CNG cars on road,” it said.

It indicted the state machinery for failing to ensure clear air. “Undoubtedly, facts in this case are that despite the direction of Supreme Court to ensure clean air and improve the ambient air quality in Delhi-NCR, the state machinery has failed,” it said.

After the NGT’s refusal to lift or relax the ban on 10-year-old diesel-run vehicles in the NCR, the Centre has the option of approaching the Supreme Court as the last resort. But if the top court upholds the NGT’s decision, all 10-year-old diesel-run vehicles will have to go off the road.

The NGT had on April 7, 2015, banned 10-year old diesel-run vehicles in NCR. On July, 20, 2016, it had ordered deregistration of 15 to 10 years old diesel vehicles in the National Capital to be carried out in a phased manner. On October 7 last year, the NGT warned of halting state transport in four northern states if they did not introduce CNG.

Maintaining its consistent stand against old diesel-run vehicles, the NGT had on August 3, 2017, said ‘no objection certificate’ would not be granted to diesel-run cars de-registered in Delhi-NCR for plying in other areas if the states concerned did not identify “no-pollution” zones.

Terming the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises’ plea for modification of its order as “not maintainable and liable to be rejected at the threshold”, the Bench said the Supreme Court has rejected similar appeals challenging the ban on vehicles and the orders passed by this Tribunal had reached “logical end and finality.”

It rejected the Ministry’s submission that t its order banning 10-year-old diesel-run vehicles and the direction for scrapping of such vehicles was in violation to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, saying if the government failed to discharge its statutory obligation, the NGT cannot be a “silent spectator” and let the citizens suffer.

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