The National Green Tribunal today directed the Chief Secretary of Delhi to form a committee of all the three municipal corporations to conduct market survey on availability of CNG and petrol road sweeping machines.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed the committee to examine the matter raised by South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) which sought permission to purchase diesel-run road sweeping machines having engine capacity of over 2000 CC.
SDMC sought tribunal’s permission to purchase the diesel vehicles saying that CNG and petrol-operated machines were not available in the market.
Disposing of the plea, the tribunal said, “The committee will conduct or get conducted market survey whether road sweeping machines are available in CNG or petrol or not.”
If such CNG or petrol-run machines are not available, the Delhi government will direct purchase of these machines for road sweeping and other related purposes, the bench said.
“If the answer is affirmative, then efforts will be made to purchase preferably CNG and then petrol vehicles instead of diesel,” it said.
The green panel also said the work should be done expeditiously and thereafter, directed the transport department of Delhi government to register the vehicles.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Vardhaman Kaushik over worsening air quality in Delhi.
Diesel vehicles in the city which are 15 years old should be deregistered first and will not get NoC for plying outside Delhi-NCR, the National Green Tribunal today said.
Only deregistered diesel vehicles which are less than 15 years old can get No Objection Certificate for plying in select areas outside Delhi-NCR to be decided by states where vehicle density is less.
“All diesel vehicles which are more than 15 years old and are BS-I, BS-II to be scrapped and no NOC will be issued,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said as it clarified its earlier order directing the Delhi government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are more than 10 years old from plying in the city.
“We make it clear that de-registration of diesel vehicles shall be complied with effectively without any default. However, registration authorities are directed to start the process with reference to oldest vehicles first, that is, diesel vehicles which are 15-year-old should be de-registered first,” the bench said.
The bench also clarified that all deregistered vehicles which are less than 15 years old will not be allowed to ply in Delhi NCR and the authorities will issue No Objection Certificate (NOC) to them so that they can be registered in some other places where vehicle density is less.
The green panel asked the states to identify areas where dispersion of air is higher and vehicle density is less.
The bench said that the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Delhi will issue NOC only for those areas which have been identified by the states.
The bench asked the Ministry of Heavy Industries to take a panel view with regard to scrapping of vehicles and the benefits associated with it which would be provided to persons who opt for such a policy. It also asked Delhi Government to respond on the issue of capping of vehicles.
The Delhi Development Authority was asked by the bench to provide space to Delhi Transport Corporation and Delhi Traffic Police for parking of deregistered diesel vehicles including the impounded ones.
The NGT asked the Delhi Government to take immediate steps to improve and strengthen public transport system and introduce buses which are CNG, hybrid or electric ones.
Earlier, the NGT had on July 18 directed the Delhi government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are more than 10-year-old from plying in the city.
The bench had ordered the RTO of the Transport Department in Delhi, that after de-registration, it will issue public notice in this regard and supply the list of such vehicles to Delhi Traffic Police which will take appropriate steps in consonance with directions of the tribunal.
The tribunal had said that even during odd-even scheme initiated by the Delhi government, the ambient air quality did not improve and in fact, the parameters remained on the higher side more than the permissible limits.
It had passed the order after noting submissions of Delhi Police that it has made continuous attempts to stop vehicles which were more than 10 years old from plying on the roads of the national capital.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand and advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for Ministry of Heavy Industries, had said that tribunal should not impose such a “harsh” order as it would adversely affect the automobile sector and the economy.
With regard to pollution from other sources like dust pollution, emissions from burning of plastic and other waste materials, the bench had directed Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi government to file status report on the issue.
The NGT had taken Delhi government to task for its failure to implement its order banning such vehicles from plying on the roads and slammed the government over incidents of waste burning and dust pollution in the national capital.
The tribunal had on April 7, 2015 held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR.
On November 26, 2014, it had banned plying of all diesel or petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old.
The National Green Tribunal wants installation of a CNG station at Manali by January 2016 and has directed the Centre and all the departments concerned of the state to extend their full cooperation for the project to protect the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang.
The green panel has said that the CNG project needs to be dealt expeditiously in order to protect the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang which is one of the most beautiful part of the state.
“The counsel appearing for the different authorities, companies, state government and central government have agreed to a proposal to make it possible to supply the CNG gas at Manali. They have placed on record a note to ensure execution of the issues decided.
“The GAIL Gas Ltd shall be responsible for execution of the project. However, all other authority present before the tribunal would fully cooperate with them and do not unnecessarily put obstruction in grant of permission and facilitating the compliance of the order of the tribunal,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board argued before the bench that GAIL was yet to make any formal application for grant of NOC and it has only given expression of interest to the board.
“Oh, common, the state government is before you. They are not private parties that you need such formalities. There has to be a positive approach from your side. There is a larger issue of environment involved. Issue them a provisional consent for the time being. Don’t delay the project. We want the project to be completed by January, next year,” the bench said.
The tribunal also made it clear that all its earlier orders including cap of number of vehicles being allowed to ply on Manali-Rohtang route would continue to remain in force.
In a step aimed at minimising pollution in the Rohtang pass area, the tribunal had cleared the decks for plying of CNG buses on the 51-km-long Manali-Rohtang highway.
The tribunal’s nod to run CNG buses came after Himachal Pradesh government told a bench that trial run was successful and the state has planned to introduce CNG buses for regular operation from Vashist to Rohtang pass.