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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Centre urges NGT to stay ban on old diesel vehicles

Says move will have an impact on essential services

Pleading adverse impact on essential services, the Centre on Monday urged the National Green Tribunal to stay its order prohibiting 10 and 15-year-old diesel and petrol vehicles respectively from plying in Delhi and neighbouring regions.

Stressing how the ban order would affect the livelihood of people who might not be able to replace their vehicles, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said it needed six-month time to work out measures on addressing pollution concerns.

The plea filed by advocate Balendu Shekhar stated that vehicles over 10 years of age are very few compared to those under 10 years of age.

It also said most countries adopt fitness tests and emission checks for curbing pollution and not the age of the vehicle.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Ministry, told the Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar that there are only 7 per cent vehicles over 10 years age.

“Give us your views. We will go through it and pass appropriate orders. We are going to examine the matter,” the Bench said.

Quoting from the research papers published by IIT-Delhi, the ASG said all vehicles above 10 years contribute only a “negligible” amount to the pollution
The Centre said there are significant factors other than age which cause pollution.

The Centre pointed out that there are essential services like hospitals, postal departments and civic agencies which engage a fleet of vehicles over ten years old.

“It is relevant to mention that under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998, no specific age limit is prescribed for vehicles. A vehicle reaches its ‘end-of-life’ when it cannot be certified as fit to move on road, even after repair and maintenance,” the plea said.

“Therefore the global best practice is to limit the life of the vehicles on the basis of fitness test, including emission checks,” the Ministry said.
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