Environment

Centre wants ban on 10-yr-old diesel vehicles in Delhi to go, moves SC

DELHI: Challenging the ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles, the Centre moved Supreme Court Friday to appeal against the directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

When banned, diesel vehicles had been found to the most harmful in terms of particulate matter. Now, despite a much worse air quality, these old vehicles are to be brought back if the centre has its way!

The apex court rued that the Ministry of Heavy Industries had a ‘casual attitude’ as it failed to attach the old Supreme Court order on the issue, reports The Indian Express.

“Why are you not effectively stopping 10 years old diesel vehicles? Issue directions to all the concerned authorities to take off all diesel vehicles which are over 10 years old from the roads,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar had earlier said, reports PTI.

Earlier in August, the top court had lifted the ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2000cc in Delhi and NCR.

A bench of justices M B Lokur and P C Pant asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi about the status of a similar petition challenging the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal.

The Attorney General said, “that petition has been dismissed by the apex court.”

To this, the bench sought to know about the records regarding that petition and asked the AG on what ground it was dismissed.

The apex court said that government should not take a casual approach when it is talking about economy and other things.

Rohatgi sought time from the bench to file the relevant record regarding the dismissed petitions and said that due to the ban, poorer section of the people is being affected.

Diesel cannot be termed as an undesirable fuel: Centre

It also noted that a 1 per cent cess on ex-showroom price will be levied as green cess on such vehicles and the cess will likely be passed on to buyers.

The court had further said that the one per cent green cess will be deposited before Central Pollution Control Board, which will open a separate account in a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) bank.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had temporarily banned the sale of large diesel vehicles in New Delhi, which had triggered strong protests from car manufacturers.

The Central government had thrown its weight behind the auto industries, saying “diesel cannot be termed as an undesirable fuel.”

BAN ON OLD VEHICLES
Earlier, the NGT had on November 26, 2014, held that all diesel and petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old would not be permitted to ply on Delhi roads, to tackle increasing air pollution in the national capital.

Thereafter, the tribunal had again on April 7, 2015, ordered that all diesel vehicles of more than 10 years old would not be permitted to ply in Delhi.

In another jolt to diesel car owners in the national capital, the tribunal had on July 18, 2016, directed the Delhi government to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are over 10 years old from plying in the city.

NGT order had come in the wake of rising pollution levels in Delhi and NCR causing health risks for its population.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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