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NGT gives Delhi govt two-week breather

NGT gives Delhi govt two-week breather
Lawyers for the Delhi government appealed to the tribunal for more time, saying essential services such as garbage collection by mostly older trucks have been thrown into disarray.

“The court agreed and stayed its order for two weeks. No vehicles will be impounded during this period,” said Zubeida Begum, a lawyer for the government. “Transportation of eatables to the capital has been hit hard, so has the garbage collection,” she said. The tribunal has sought suggestions from Delhi govt by May 1 on better implementation of its order. In November, the tribunal also ordered all petrol vehicles older than 15 years to be taken off the capital’s roads in a bid to lower toxic air levels.

National Green Tribunal had ordered to impound diesel vehicles plying in the capital for more than 10 years in a step to improve ambient air quality. NGT had held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10-years old would not be permitted to ply in Delhi. Truck drivers associations, following the order, had threatened to stop moving goods in and out of the national capital from Monday midnight to protest against the order. General Secretary of Transport Association, Rajinder Kapoor had on Sunday met Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the matter. After the tribunal stayed its order, the truckers on Monday deferred their proposed strike till May 1 against the National Green Tribunal order to ban plying of diesel vehicles of more than 10 years in the city.

Truckers’ body AIMTC President Bhim Wadhwa said; “We have deferred our strike call from midnight tonight in the national capital region against the NGT order to May 1 after assurances from Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to look into the issue. We are hopeful of a solution.” Thousands of commercial trucks travel through Delhi every night, many of them on their way from one state to another because of a lack of bypasses. According to some reports, some 40,000 diesel cars have been affected by the court’s ban in the capital and more than 90,000 in adjoining towns.
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