A public interest litigation before the Gujarat High Court has sought a ban on all the commercial and public transport vehicles running on diesel if they are found to be not complying with the latest emission norms. Such vehicles must switch to CNG to reduce the air pollution, says the PIL, which follows the National Green Tribunals recent order banning registration of new diesel vehicles in Delhi.
Environmental activist Devjibhai Dhamecha, the president of Jogad (Rann) Eco Foundation, has filed the PIL which came up for hearing before the division bench of acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and V M Pancholi today. Dhamecha has cited various media reports claiming that there has been a significant rise in air pollution in Gujarat. The court issued notices to the state chief secretary, Gujarat Pollution Control Board and the state transport department, and posted the next hearing to January 8.
The PIL contended that despite the past directives of the Supreme Court, Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation and the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service were using diesel-run buses and have not yet fully switched to CNG, as directed by the court. There is no clear policy in the state about phasing out old diesel-run commercial vehicles, it says.
All the commercial vehicles using diesel should be inspected and stricter BS4 norms should be enforced; if found unfit under these norms, such vehicles should be banned, the petition demands. In the longer run, the court may direct the government to ensure that all the diesel-run commercial and public transport vehicles are converted into CNG vehicles, and the government should seize all the polluting commercial and public transport diesel vehicles even if they were being used by government officials, it said.
( Source – PTI )