Government today moved the National Green Tribunal seeking stay of its ban orders on 15-yr-old petrol and 10-yr-old diesel vehicles from plying in Delhi-NCR on the ground that it would affect public and essential services.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in its plea, has said that most countries adopt fitness tests, including emission checks, of vehicle as a criterion for curbing pollution and not the age of the vehicle.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the ministry told the bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that there are only 7 per cent vehicles over 10 years while the number of vehicles under 10 years is 93 per cent.
“Give us your views. We will go through it and pass appropriate orders. We are going to examine the matter,” the bench said.
Quoting from the research papers published by IIT-Delhi, the ASG said that all vehicles above 10 years contribute only a “negligible” amount to the pollution.
Referring to the article written by four professors of IIT-Delhi on the subject “Benchmarking Vehicle and passenger travel characteristics in Delhi for on Road Emissions Analysis”, the Centre said that “age” cannot be considered as a salient factor for contributing pollution in Delhi, NCR as there are various other significant factors which are causing pollution.
The ministry has said that in Delhi large number of people use private vehicles and if 15 year-old petrol vehicles and 10-year-old diesel vehicles are banned, the ultimate sufferers would be the public who may not be able to replace their vehicles with newer ones and their life and livelihood will get affected.
The plea, filed through advocates Balendu Shekhar and Rajesh Ranjan, contends that several government departments carrying necessary and essential services for public like hospitals, Municipal Corporations, Postal Departments etc. engage a fleet of vehicles which are more that 10-15 years old.
“It is relevant to mention that under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998, no specific age limit is prescribed for vehicles. A vehicle reaches its ‘End-of-life’ when it cannot be certified as fit to move on road, even after repair and maintenance,” the plea said.
“Therefore the global best practice is to limit the life of the vehicles on the basis of fitness test, including emission checks. It is submitted that such measures are under consideration by the government and the government needs reasonable time of six months to work out and suggest measures for addressing pollution concerns,” the ministry said.
It said Centre was undertaking several measures to control/reduce pollution by covering several areas including quality of fuel, adoption of green fuels, fitness of vehicles, quality of engines etc.
Government needs reasonable time of six months to work out and suggest measures for addressing pollution concerns, it said.
The green panel had earlier issued notices to chief secretaries of all states and union territories seeking status on prevention of air pollution with regard to vehicular traffic.
Noting that diesel is prime source of air pollution in Delhi, the tribunal on April 7 had held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
“All vehicles, diesel or petrol, which are more than 15 years old shall not be permitted to ply on the roads and wherever such vehicles of this age are noticed, the concerned authorities shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law…,” the Tribunal had said in its November 26, 2014 order
Ban on petrol and diesel vehicles: Centre moves NGT