NGT bans vehicles over 15-years-old in Delhi

An NGT bench has ordered all vehicles over 15-years-old, plying in Delhi, should be off the roads.  

Dismayed at the dangerous levels of air pollution in Delhi due to vehicular emission, the National Green Tribunal has, as an interim measure, banned all vehicles — diesel or petrol — over 15-years old from plying on Delhi roads.

“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, 1988,” ordered a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar.

Vehicles over 15-years-old will not be permitted to be parked in any public area and they shall be towed away and challaned by the police in accordance with law.

The bench ordered that this 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 Transport officers have been strictly directed not to renew registration of vehicles which are over 15 years old.

On being informed that there is a bypass from traffic coming from Chandigarh side and going to Uttar Pradesh but no such bypass to Delhi as far as Rajasthan and all states till Mumbai are concerned, the bench directed the Ministry of Environment & Forests, the ministry of transport to identify a route for bypass.

It is to be noted that another bench of NGT headed by Justice P. Jypthimani is also hearing a matter concerning ban on vehicles over 15-year-old and had asked the transport and finance ministry to consider tax curbs to cut down vehicular pollution across the country.

Ban on burning plastic and other material

The NGT also banned burning of plastic or any other material in the open.

“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 and the Police, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and NCT, Delhi shall take immediate steps to ensure that such activity is stopped forthwith,” the tribunal said in its order on a petition filed by one Vardhman Kaushik.

“Any person would have the right to approach this Tribunal, the Police station, the DPCC and/or any other competent authority to make a grievance in regard to such unauthorised and illegal burning resulting in air pollution,” it said.

Web portal for uploading photos of polluting activities

The Tribunal also directed the Delhi government and the DPCC to create a web portal where any person aggrieved can take the photographs and upload the same with details of location etc bringing it to the notice of these authorities.

They have also been directed to create a special force to enforce this direction and ensure its compliance.

Ban on parking on roads to curb pollution

The green tribunal found that haphazard parking resulted in traffic congestion where vehicles stuck in jam keep their engines on and cause more pollution.

“The Commissioner of Police of Delhi, Municipal Authorities and DPCC shall ensure that tarred roads for regular traffic are not permitted to be used for parking thus causing avoidable congestion of traffic.

“Once there is a congestion of traffic and vehicles are forced to keep their engines on for considerable long period, it results in extra emissions causing serious air pollution,” it said.

The Tribunal has directed that in all markets in Delhi there should be only one side parking of vehicles and there is sufficient space left for atleast both way carriage and it will be ensured that there is a free flow of traffic and is not unnecessarily obstructed by excessive and unregulated parking on the road.

It also directed agencies concerned to provide cycle tracks and encourage cycling in Delhi.

The DTC buses, plying on CNG, will also be checked by a team constituted by DPCC and CPCB and if found to be polluting, the DTC Managing Director shall be personally responsible for ensuring compliance.

The NGT also came down heavily on overloaded trucks which cross Delhi and directed that automatic or censor based weigh bridges be installed on all entry and exit points of Delhi.

“We further direct that the vehicles standing at the border or near the entry point will not keep the ignition on except when they are permitted to enter and ply,” the bench said directing authorities concerned in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure compliance.

Before passing the order, the Tribunal noted that a report filed by a committee headed by Secretary, MoEF outlining suggestions to curb air pollution in Delhi, does not suggest anything substantive.

As the committee sought more time to prepare an action plan, the Tribunal said “it is constitutional and statutory duty of all the authorities and Ministries to provide clean air to the people to breathe. It is their fundamental right and it cannot be subjected to limitation of the state of any kind and be permitted to loose sight in the realm of planning and anticipated actions.”

“It is primarily carbon and particulate matters which are injurious to human health, particularly to lungs and ENT diseases. The time is more than right at this stage, when mere consideration of these issues at different levels, could not resolve the issue and no one would help in controlling the increasing air pollution in Delhi,” it said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 3:29:20 PM |

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