New Delhi: In a path-breaking initiative,the National Green Tribunal on Friday directed holding of a meeting of stakeholders in its conference hall to devise modalities for implementation of its order banning plying of vehicles which are more than 15 years old on the city roads.
The Tribunal also made it clear today that the ban order will equally apply to the buses owned and/or under contract with Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and all other states whose buses are coming to Delhi from the destination of their respective states.
A bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, asked Additional Secretary, MoEF, Additional Secretary of Petroleum Ministry, CPCB Chairman and Secretaries of NCT Delhi directly concerned with the implementation of the order to attend the meeting on December 2.
"The Tribunal would, within the framework of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, take a consultative and deliberated approach with the stakeholders to resolve an issue of such wide magnitude and/or of greatest public welfare and is seriously effecting the environment."
"In the, meanwhile, we would require the authorities to submit their views to the Tribunal on the one hand and implement the directions contained in our order as well as the directions contained hereinafter without default and delay, on the other hand," the bench said.
The Tribunal also directed that CPCB, DPCC, Secretary Environment, NCT Delhi, including Secretary of Transport, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana shall ensure that agencies which have been engaged for the purposes of checking emissions from vehicles must act strictly in accordance with law.
Earlier, the Tribunal had held that all vehicles which were more than 15 years old would not be permitted to ply on the city roads.
It had directed that wherever such vehicles of this age are noticed, the concerned authorities shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law including seizure of the vehicles.
It had further said that no person shall be permitted to burn plastic or any other material in the open.
The Tribunal had also held that in all the markets in Delhi,"it shall be ensured tarred roads for regular traffic are not permitted to be used for parking thus causing avoidable congestion of traffic".
"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 is a 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 lose sight in the realm of planning and anticipated actions," the bench had said.
It had also directed the CPCB and the DPCC to check all the DTC buses, even if operating on CNG, and if the bus was found to be emitting in excess of prescribed standards, it must not be permitted to ply.
The Tribunal's observation came while hearing a petition of Vardhaman Kaushik who had contended that "the level of particulates in Delhi is rising manifold and the reasons for which should be identified and curbed".