18 July, New Delhi
Dubbing diesel as a “major cause of pollution”, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday ordered that all diesel vehicles that are 10 years old or more be banned from plying in the national capital with immediate effect.
The tribunal ordered the Delhi Regional Transport Officer (RTO) to deregister all such old diesel vehicles while upholding its impugned 2015 order to ban these vehicles in Delhi.
The NGT said that even the odd-even traffic regulation scheme was unable to improve the ambient air quality in Delhi.
“It is undisputed that diesel vehicles have caused to increase the pollution level in Delhi. Even the odd-even scheme could not help improving the air quality in Delhi. Old diesel vehicles remain a major contributor to air pollution,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said here.
The NGT also asked the RTO to provide the Delhi Police with a list of the de-registered diesel vehicles and to act against these in case of violations.
The decision came following a petition filed by Vardhaman Kaushik, seeking a ban on 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol vehicles.
On April 7, 2015, the NGT ordered a ban on diesel vehicles that were 10 year old or more, in the case of ‘Vardhaman Kaushik versus Union of India and Others’. The order was challenged, but the NGT dismissed the appeal.
However, despite the order, old diesel vehicles continue to challenge Delhi’s environment-protection authorities.
The Delhi government’s Transport Department earlier said it did not have the power to deregister diesel vehicles and according to the Central Motor Vehicles Act, only the RTO could do so.
On Monday, the Delhi government, however, asked the RTO to issue public notice to deregister all old diesel vehicles.