The NGT as well as the SC are keen to tackle pollution in Delhi and want diesel vehicles to be shown the door
The discussions on air-pollution and disputes regarding diesel vehicles are going on for months now. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Supreme Court (SC) have passed a series of orders to control pollution levels in the National Capital Region.
NGT banned diesel vehicles that were over 10-years-old from plying on the roads of Delhi and NCR. Tribunal has passed several comprehensive directions vide its order dated 26th November, 2014, 04th December, 2014, 07th April, 2015, 28th April, 2015, 07th July, 2015, 17th April, 2015, 14th July, 2015, 27th July, 2015, 30th July, 2015, and 02nd December, 2015. The order states “Ministry has already taken the stand that commercial diesel vehicles attaining age of 10 years should be directed to take PUC certificate every 6 months and after 15 years they should be condemned.”
On December 16, 2015, SC banned registration of diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region (NCR) with engine capacity more than 2,000cc and made it mandatory for all diesel taxis plying in the national capital to convert to CNG. The deadline for conversion to CNG mode was set as March 1. It was later extended to March 31, and then to April 30.
SC banned all diesel and petrol-run taxis in NCR and held that only CNG-fitted private taxis can run in Delhi. It further declined to extend the April 30 deadline fixed for conversion of all diesel and petrol-run taxis to CNG mode. This led to protests by cab operators like Ola and Uber stating that they will not be able to earn a livelihood as they have to repay the bank loans taken for buying the cars. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for some taxi owners, also contended that there is no technology for converting diesel vehicles into CNG mode.
July 4: The SC reserved orders on a ban on the sale of diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000cc or more in Delhi. It was further suggested that instead of the court imposing a cess, the centre should conduct a study considering the viewpoint of all stakeholders and arrive at a solution.
July 6: The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) on July 6 then recommended a steep pollution tax of 22 percent of the vehicle’s cost on private diesel cars.
July 18: NGT ordered de-registeration of diesel vehicles older than 10 years plying in the capital. The order came after complaints of non-implementation of NGT’s order of April 2015, wherein it had banned diesel vehicles that were over 10-years-old from plying on the roads of Delhi NCR.