Sunday, May 3, 2015

Govt. decided to seize vehicles emitting high pollution

Sources: Dinamalar ePaper
Also read the related stories
Supreme Court upholds NGT order imposing ban on 15-year old vehicles in Delhi
By: PTI | New Delhi | April 20, 2015 8:04 pm
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The tribunal noted that diesel is prime source of air pollution in Delhi and the the situation is so alarming that people have been even advised to leave Delhi due to adverse effects on health.
"Due to the increasing pollutants of air, the life of residents of NCR Delhi is becoming more vulnerable to various diseases and the greatest sufferers are young children," NGT said. (Reuters)
The Supreme Court today rejected a plea against an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banning all vehicles which are more than 15 years old from plying on Delhi roads.
“Let us assist them (NGT) and not discourage them,” a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra said while dismissing a plea filed by a lawyer seeking setting aside of the decision of the green panel.
The bench further said the NGT was “only repeating the orders passed by Constitutional courts (SC/HCs) in the past.”
“All vehicles, diesel or petrol, which are more than 15 years old shall not be permitted to ply on the roads and wherever such vehicles of this age are noticed, the concerned authorities shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law including seizure of the vehicles in accordance with the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act.
“The vehicles which are more than 15 years old, will not be permitted to be parked in any public area and they shall be towed away and challenged by the police in accordance with law. This direction would be applicable to all vehicles without exception i.e. two wheelers, three wheelers, four wheelers, light vehicles and heavy vehicles irrespective of whether commercial or otherwise,” the NGT, in its November 26, 2014 order, had said.
Lawyer Vishaal Shripati Jogdand challenged the order in the apex court on various grounds including that the NGT had no jurisdiction to hear a case which was of the nature of a public interest litigation.
“Instead of age of the vehicles, the fitness of the vehicles can be and should be the criteria from stopping them from plying on roads,” Debasis Misra, appearing for Jogdand, said.
Even bringing CNG in 1997-98, did not result in reduction of air pollution and hence, an investigation be undertaken to find out the reasons for it, he said.
The bench, however, was not inclined to hear the plea in detail and dismissed it after a brief hearing.
Earlier, the NGT, besides banning 15-year-old diesel and petrol vehicles, had also said that no person shall be permitted to burn plastic or any other material in the open.
The NGT had also said that if any person is found to be burning plastic or any other material including tree leaves in the open, he would be liable to be proceeded against in accordance with law.
It had held that in all the markets in Delhi, “it shall be ensured tarred roads for regular traffic are not permitted to be used for parking thus causing avoidable congestion of traffic”.
It had also directed the Delhi government and others to create a web portal where an aggrieved person can upload the photographs depicting the pollution.
With an aim to reduce vehicular pollution, the NGT had also said, “Immediate steps will be taken by all the Respondents and concerned authorities to provide cycle tracks in Delhi and efforts should be made to encourage cycling in Delhi.”
Also read the related stories
Day after green tribunal order, cops seize 96 vehicles
TNN | Apr 9, 2015, 02.53AM IST
Traffic police officials said that though no specific instruction was given to them by the tribunal to prosecute diesel vehicles, a drive was conducted during a check at the border posts. Cops found 96 vehicles violating the compliance order
NEW DELHI: A day after the National Green Tribunal banned diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years in Delhi and NCR, the Delhi government was still in the process of trying to access the order. Meanwhile, the Delhi traffic police prosecuted 96 vehicles. Of these, 38 were commercial vehicles while the rest were private vehicles. The traffic police said it had impounded the vehicles.
The six court-appointed commissioners will inspect entry points into Delhi on Thursday. The transport department said it was drawing up a plan of action but it would be implemented only after the department gets a copy of the NGT order.
The court had given the transport department 20 hours, that is time till Wednesday morning, to make arrangements at border checkpoints to have weighbridges, centres to carry out pollution checks and facility for vehicles, especially heavy vehicles, to turn around if they were not permitted entry into Delhi. However, since the order was formally issued only on Wednesday evening, none of the six commissioners were able to go for inspection.
The six, Amit Verma, Aditya N Prasad, Neha Miriam Kurian, Atif Suhrawaroy, Sahil Sangar and Pallavi Talware will visit various entry check points on Thursday and submit a report to the NGT on April 10 on status of installation of weighbridges and provision of u-turns for overloaded or polluting vehicles.
"It is a long standing demand to have weighbridges at border check points and in the hearing on November 26, the NGT had given orders for installation of weighbridges and PUC centres. However, due to lack of implementation, the tribunal gave the concerned agency one more day to have things in order," said sources.
Traffic police officials said that though no specific instruction was given to them by the green tribunal to prosecute diesel vehicles, a drive was conducted during a check at the border posts. Cops found 96 vehicles violating the compliance order.
"We checked the registration certificates of the vehicles and the one found to be in violation of the order were impounded," said Muktesh Chander, special commissioner, traffic. A traffic officer said that in such cases the vehicles are treated as ones plying without a registration certificate. Traffic officers said that they have also expressed their limitations in terms of manpower and space to store impounded vehicles.
The five-member Bench headed by NGT chairman Swatanter Kumar observed that the applicants had "vehemently contended that all the authorities and states in NCR, Delhi have utterly failed to comply with the directions issued by the Tribunal in its orders...The slackness and casual attitude of the authorities of the state government is exhibited from the very fact that air pollution is increasing and has reached an alarming level which would make it difficult for the people of Delhi even to breathe freely much less fresh air".
Pulling up the various state governments for their tardy response to the NGT's directions, the Bench said: "We had directed NCT, Delhi and other governments to submit their views on matters like controlling of vehicular pollution, total number of vehicles, age of vehicles. The authorities were also required to submit their views on congestion, control and prevention of construction pollution, checking of vehicles for pollution at the state entry point, overloading of trucks and construction of parking areas in all congested places of Delhi to avoid congestion and to ensure free flow of traffic. Unfortunately, we find no response in that regard." The state governments and public authorities have been directed to submit an action taken report before the tribunal on April 10 to show how much each has complied with the various orders.

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