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Govt. buys more time, NGT extends stay on vehicles ban

May 03, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:46 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Grappling with ways to cut vehicular pollution, the government seems to be buying time on every hearing before the National Green Tribunal which on Friday extended the stay on ban of 10-year-old diesel vehicles till May 18 but not before criticising the authorities for doing nothing.

This is the second time the government has sought a stay. On Friday, Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar extended the stay after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, requested the tribunal to grant more time to file Centre’s suggestion on methods to reduce vehicular pollution.

“ASG submits that she would advise the Ministry to hold meeting of ministries and public authorities concerned in order to find out a solution to the problem of air pollution. We have no objections. Meanwhile, stay to continue,” the Bench said.

Before the order was passed the government, along with its various departments, were pulled up by the NGT for not coming up with suggestions on issues such as capping the number of vehicles on road, hike in parking charges, incentives for car pooling etc as highlighted by the Bench earlier in several hearings.

“You have done nothing in compliance to our orders. It is very sad. All of you know how to make excuses. Why don’t you sit together and give suggestions and formulate? Whole India is supposed to respond to this issue.

“NCT-Delhi, Petroleum Ministry, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Urban Development, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana have not submitted any suggestion in terms of our order dated April 13... We make it clear that if they do not comply our orders we would be compelled to proceed in the matter and forfeit their right to reply. Let the needful be done in two weeks,” the Bench said. When the Bench asked about implementation of its order, the ASG said the Centre in principle agrees but she is not in position to comment immediately.

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