NGT okay with odd-even vehicles plan, seeks govts reply on car dealers plea
GN Bureau | December 15, 2015
The supreme court today observed that "rich people can't go round in SUVs polluting the environment" and agreed to ban registration of diesel SUVs and cars over 2000cc in Delhi to combat air pollution. Tomorrow the court will pass the final order. The court has also agreed to ban entry of trucks registered before 2005 in the national capital region and increase the green tax for trucks entering the national capital.
"People's life is at stake and you are interested in selling cars," chief justice of India TS Thakur said slamming car dealers who oppose ban on registration of diesel cars.
The court also asked the Delhi government to implement the odd-even car scheme on its own on a trial basis and then decide on the future course of action.
It also asked the concerned authorities to ensure that only CNG based taxis run in Delhi and that Euro 4-ready fuel is provided in Delhi and national highways to promote Euro 4 vehicles.
Proper arrangement must be made at construction sites to control pollution caused from dust, the court said.
During the hearing of several petitions, the court asked the Delhi and central government to come up with a solution to clean Delhi's air. "You formulate the norms, prescribe the regime. Why don't you do it? You take the credit for cleaning Delhi. Why do you let the opportunity go?" it said.
Last week, chief justice Thakur had called the pollution in the national capital "embarrassing" and had asked for immediate solutions.
Meanwhile, the national green tribunal today asked the centre and Delhi government to make clear their stand by tomorrow on capping and scrapping of diesel cars and providing incentives to those who do not use private vehicles after car dealers sought modifications in its "harsh" order.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to ministries of road transport, environment and forests and heavy industries as well as Delhi government and others while hearing the plea of car dealers seeking modification of order banning registration of new diesel vehicles.
Senior advocate Pinaki Misra, appearing for Delhi based car dealers, said that the tribunal has passed a "harsh" direction by ordering that there would be no registration of new diesel vehicles.
"We are saddled with stocks of 2015 which would be difficult to dispose in 2016 due the order passed by NGT," Misra said.
He asked the tribunal to modify the order so that the existing stocks of diesel cars be sold as this was the month for giving discounts and high sale was expected.
The green panel, however, said that a similar matter was scheduled for hearing in Supreme Court so it will not be proper for it to pass any directions.
"If a similar matter is there in supreme court, it would be improper on our part to say anything," the bench said.
The tribunal, however, directed all the concerned authorities to file their replies by tomorrow with a clear stand on capping/ scrapping of old cars and providing incentives to those who do not use their private vehicles.
It also clarified that it has no doubts on the odd even plan of Delhi government and only wants its proper implementation.
"We have no doubts on the scheme. We observed certain things just because we want results out of it. Government is the final authority in the matter. It is for them to take a stand," it said.
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