In order to ensure that the Railway locomotive engines cause no pollution, the National Green Tribunal has ordered to set standards in this regard.
The Tribunal has asked the Ministry of Railways to hold a meeting with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and an Indian Institute of Technology professor, besides a representative of the Ministry of Petroleum.
“The committee shall collect data, complete study, specify and prepare the guidelines within the period of six months, which the CPCB shall ensure are duly implemented by all agencies concerned, including Respondent No. 3 (Ministry of Railways) in order to ensure that no pollution results from the Railway locomotive engines,” said the NGT in its order.
These standards should be specified without default and delay and within the stipulated schedule, said the NGT, while disposing of the petition.
The committee can approach any specialised body in the country for advice and consultation.
The order of the NGT came on a petition filed by Sanjeev Goyal, who contended that “while there are set standards of emission and pollution control for vehicular traffic, non-specification of discharge standards by railway locomotives is a case of gross negligence on the part of the CPCB”.
Relying on an RTI reply, Mr. Goyal said, “The Railways has emphatically stated that its diesel locomotives are very fuel efficient and are taking all steps to reduce carbon emission. However, it is a fact that diesel locomotives deployed by it still does not undergo any pollution test.
“The Indian Railways has been using diesel locomotives over the past six decades and absence of emission standards, despite high technological advancement, only shows lack of willingness,” he said.
He also said locomotive emission standards are put in practice in the U.S. and Europe, but nothing has been done about it in India.
It is to be noted that the Railways had last year brought a mobile emission test car to test emission levels of diesel locomotives at depots across the country.