Don't ban diesel vehicles in other cities: Govt to NGT

Don't ban diesel vehicles in other cities: Govt to NGT

Green body raps states for data delay

Don't ban diesel vehicles in other cities: Govt to NGT

The Centre on Monday pleaded with the National Green Tribunal not to extend the ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2,000 cc outside the National Capital Region.

The NGT bench headed by chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, rapped Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal for failing to provide exact data about the air quality and vehicle density in their cities.

The panel gave them time till Tuesday to submit their response, including on the total number of vehicles, along with their bifurcation (diesel/petrol) and the total population in those cities, failing which bailable warrants would be issued against the respective chief secretaries.

It also slammed the Central Pollution Control Board for failing to provide the requisite data in metropolises.

The tribunal had taken note of air pollution in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Nagpur, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Pune. It directed states to file a comprehensive affidavit stating the steps taken by them for prevention and control of air pollution.

In its plea, the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises told the tribunal that extending the Supreme Court-mandated ban would have an adverse effect on the momentum of growth of the automobile industry.

Filing an application for impleadment in a case related to air pollution, the government urged the green panel not to apply any restrictions on the "sale and registration" of new vehicles in any cities, which are complying with the statutory emission norms irrespective of the fuel used.

The Supreme Court had on December 16, 2015, banned registration of SUVs and private cars of the capacity of 2,000 cc and above using diesel as fuel in the NCR. On April 30, the court maintained status quo till the next hearing.

“The extension of the ban imposed by the Supreme Court to 11 cities by the NGT would have an adverse effect on the momentum of growth of the auto industry," the ministry said in its plea, before a bench headed by Justice Kumar.

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