Ten years old commercial diesel vehicles shall not ply in the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held.
New diesel vehicles which are not BS-IV(Bharat Stage emission norms) or which are not needed for essential services (such as Ambulances, Fire services, petroleum, food carriers, sewer cleaning machines and LPG trucks)food shall also not be registered, the tribunal has held.
Declining to allow the applications filed for seeking permission to continue the use of ten years old diesel vehicles which are not BS-IV compliant or which are not required for essential services, the tribunal has cited its own order of December 11, 2015 prohibiting registration of new diesel vehicles except ones engaged for essential services pending alternatives being explored.
Disposing of four-year-old air pollution case (Vardhaman Kaushik Vs Union of India), a bench headed by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, has also clarified that the order cannot be treated as a for permitting diesel vehicles even for essential services for all times to come unless its earlier orders on ban of diesel vehicles are vacated.
“Though tribunal has made an exception in respect of vehicles meant for essential services on ad-hoc basis, such exception has not been made across the board,” the bench has said, while disposing bunch of applications before it.
Owners of diesel vehicles in Moradabad, Meerut, Bulandshahr and Muzaffarnagar districts of Uttar Pradesh which had sought extension for three years after the expiry of the ten-year period, have, however, been permitted to use them, provided they do not enter the National Capital Territory of Delhi. The petitioners had sought parity with the October 13, 2017 order of the NGT in which it had granted permissions to the diesel vehicle owners on the ground that time was required for setting up CNG fuel stations.
Taking note of the deteriorating air quality in the capital, the Supreme Court had, on December 16, 2015, banned registration of private cars and SUVs of 2000 cc and above. The top court, however, subsequently modified the order, on August 12, 2016, permitting registration of 2000 cc and above diesel vehicles, upon deposit of 1 per cent extra charge towards environmental compensation.
The Supreme Court, further, on April 13, 2017, prohibited registration of vehicles other than BS-IV compliant sold before March 31, 2017. Only those sold after April 1, 2017 could be registered, as per the order.
Counsel for the Applicant, Sanjay Upadhyay, told the court that the Supreme Court order applied to the private diesel vehicles and not to the heavy commercial vehicles for which the NGT’s prohibitory orders continued to hold good.
“The registration of BS-IV compliant new diesel vehicles engaged in essential services have been allowed subject to some conditions imposed by the tribunal earlier,” Upadhyay told LiveLaw.
Modifying the procedure of filing implementation and action taken reports under the Graded Response Action Plan notified by the Centre for tackling air pollution in Delhi and NCR, the tribunal has asked such reports to be filed before the Central Pollution Control Board, instead of being placed before itself.