National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the authorities not to register any diesel vehicles in the national capital ailing with pollution, till January 6, when it shall next hear the matter. It has also directed the government to take a conscientious decision in regard to not buying any diesel vehicle, whether by the Central or the State Government.
The principal bench of NGT chaired by Justice Swatanter Kumar has also directed the authorities to impose fine for burning waste in the public and for keeping construction material in open.
NGT has passed the orders observing that vehicular pollution is one of the three prime sources of air pollution in NCT of Delhi; burning of Municipal Solid Waste and other waste in open and dust generated by construction and allied activities including sweeping of roads being the other two.
The tribunal has passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Vardhaman Kaushik concerning pollution in the capital.
||Original Application No. 21/2014
||Vardhaman Kaushik Vs. Union of India & Ors.
We think that the authorities concerned must sit together and clearly answer the queries raised by the Tribunal as well as relation to the compliance of the directions already issued which in their considered opinion if implemented simultaneously with the odd and even car system proposed to be introduced would make it for more effective and result oriented.
NGT also asked the Government of NCT of Delhi to take a stand for a system which can be adopted for scrapping of vehicles particularly diesel vehicles over 10 years of age and the consequential benefits which the government may offer in registration, scrapping, incentive and other incidental benefits to the owner of the vehicle in respect of new vehicle like for registration fee or excise duty.
Counsel for the NCT of Delhi informed NGT that in all the RTOs in Delhi around 1300 to 1400 vehicles are being registered everyday which include all types of vehicles heavy and light including two wheelers. On this, NGT observed that in view of the serious contribution of vehicular pollution to the air quality of NCT, Delhi it is important that the Government should take a serious view and a decision, whether any vehicle particularly Diesel Vehicle (old or new) should be registered in the NCT, Delhi.
As an interim measure till the next date of hearing, NGT ordered:
As an interim measure till next date of posting subject to hearing of all the concerned parties, we direct that Diesel Vehicles of more than 10 years of age as already directed, as well as new diesel vehicle would not be registered in NCT, Delhi.
No diesel vehicles for Government?
NGT has further ordered:
We also direct the Government to take a conscientious decision in regard to not buying any diesel vehicle, whether by the Central or the State Government. The Learned Counsel should take clear instructions in that regard.
We direct all the Public Authorities, Corporation, DDA, Police and other Public Department to prepare an Action Plan for phasing out of diesel vehicles particularly the trucks being used by all these bodies. Let this Action Plan be placed before the Tribunal on the next date of hearing.
Pay fine for burning in the open:
…we hereby direct all the Corporations, DDA, Cantonments and SHOs of the concerned Police Stations that they would ensure that no waste is burnt in the open and none is disobeying the directions, besides rendering himself liable for punitive action under law and to pay Environmental Compensation as per Section 15 and 16 of NGT, Act, 2010 at the rate of Rs. 5,000/- per event. Similarly, it would also apply to dumping of construction and other waste material in public places and on the river bed.
Pay fine if construction material kept in open
Observing that the construction material is one of the prime sources of pollution in NCT, NGT directed:
We hereby also direct that builders who keep their dust, sand, cement, brick and other construction materials on the public place and road, as per the directions of the Tribunal already issued, would not be permitted to do so. Besides, seizing such materials under the provision of the Municipal Corporation Act of the Delhi, they would be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs. 50,000/- per incident as already directed. Even the construction material which is stored within the building should be covered, and it should be ensured that there is no emission and it does not disperse into the atmosphere. This will also apply to transportation of construction materials. These directions will be applicable to NCR Delhi as afore indicated.
NGT has asked the all the concerned authorities to issue public notice and to bring the directions should be brought into public domain by them before they take punitive action.
Matter shall next be heard on January 6, 2016.
Read the complete order here.
Image from here by Lingaraj GJ