NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday granted partial relief to commercial vehicles involved in transport of essential goods like petroleum and food materials on behalf of the government.
Such commercial vehicles, which are over 10 years old, have now been given an additional three years to ply in the national Capital. The partial relief, however, does not include private individual users.
Only vehicles being used for transportation of petroleum products, essential goods or being used for undertaking tasks of any public authority are inclusive of this reprieve. However, these vehicles will only be allowed to ply in neighbouring areas of Delhi, but not allowed to enter the Delhi border.
The NGT had earlier banned diesel vehicles older ten years from plying in Delhi-NCR. The Tribunal noted that emissions from diesel vehicles is carcinogenic in nature and one diesel vehicle causes pollution equivalent to 24 petrol vehicles or otherwise 40 CNG vehicles.
A bench, headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar, said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, which had sought modification of the NGT's April 7, 2015 order, did not file any review plea and moved the Tribunal "in the guise of seeking modification".
The bench which delivered the judgement, also comprised Justices Jawad Rahim, R S Rathore and one expert member B S Sajwan. The Centre had earlier opposed the ban, saying there was a "misconception" that only diesel pollutes the environment.
Sources reveal that the green court has also asked neighbouring states including Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to identify low-pollution zones, where these vehicles will not be allowed to enter.
This would help in ensuring that the pollution curbed from entering Delhi is not pushed into other cities. The NGT had issued an order last year directing the Delhi Regional Transport Office to deregister all diesel vehicles operating in the city that are over 10 years old.