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SC seeks Centre's reply on PIL for converting public, govt transport into electric ones

SC seeks Centres reply on PIL for converting public, govt transport into electric ones

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday sought the Centre's reply on a PIL seeking implementation of the National E-Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP), 2020 which recommended gradual conversion all public transport and government vehicles into electric vehicles (EVs) to curb air pollution.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde decided to make the Ministry of Surface Transport and Highways and the minister concerned parties to the petition and listed it for hearing after four weeks.

The PIL alleged that the citizens' rights to health and clean environment under the Constitution are being "violated due to governmental apathy" in mitigating the impact of climate change and air pollution "partly attributable to emissions from vehicles that burn fossil fuels".

The bench, which also comprised Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, took note of the PIL filed by NGOs, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), Common Cause and Sita Ram Jindal Founndation.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGOs, said the government in 2012 had come out with the NEMMP, which contained several recommendations for adoption of EVs including that "government fleets and public transportation should be mandated to switch to Electric Vehicles".

The plan suggested subsidies for purchase of EVs as also tax and policy incentives, besides providing for the "requisite charging infrastructure by mandating fast and normal charging points in apartment buildings, parking lots, government offices, malls etc".

The government has not been able to implement the scheme successfully, Bhushan said.

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