Ahmedabad: Citing an expert committee report on fuels, the state government today told the Gujarat High Court that CNG will prove more harmful to the environment than diesel "as CNG engines emit more greenhouse gases than diesel".
In its affidavit filed before the High Court, the state government also expressed apprehensions about converting all commercial as well as public transport vehicles running on diesel into CNG-run, stating that it will have major financial implications.
The affidavit came as government's reply to the court, which is hearing a PIL seeking conversion of all such diesel vehicles into CNG-run vehicles to reduce air pollution in the state.
The affidavit was submitted to the high court bench comprising chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and justice Anant Dave. Since the Chief Justice was out of the town, the bench was not available today.
In the affidavit, the state government cited the 2002 Mashelkar expert committee report to argue that CNG is not a solution.
"As observed in Mashelkar Expert Committee report on Auto Fuel Policy in India, CNG vehicles for one mile emits 20 percent more greenhouse gases than a diesel vehicle for one mile. From the perspective of global warming, the decision to switch to CNG from diesel is a harmful one," the affidavit quoted the report.
"CNG vehicle emits 80 percent particulate matter and 35 percent less hydrocarbons. However, the output of carbon monoxide is over five times more than diesel," stated the affidavit quoting the report.
"If CNG is used, there will be a reduction in particulate matter. But other pollutants show a considerable increase. In fact, there is an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases with the increase in the age of CNG engine," argued the government quoting the report.
According to government, conversion of diesel vehicles into CNG "would not serve the purpose of prevention of air pollution caused by vehicles".The state government also raised apprehensions about
taking a call to go for mass conversion, saying that a diesel engine cannot be converted into CNG engine.
"Since both the engines work in a different way, technically it is next to impossible to convert vehicles having diesel engine into vehicle having CNG engine without replacing the entire diesel engine".
Gujarat government also argued that it "has no suo-motu power to convert diesel engine into CNG engine".
The PIL, filed by the environment activist Devjibhai Dhamecha in December last year, sought conversion of all diesel-run commercial and public transport vehicles into CNG-run vehicles to reduce air pollution in the state.
The PIL pointed out that despite the directives issued by the Supreme Court as well as the Gujarat High Court in the past, the government is using diesel-run buses and they are not yet fully switched to CNG as directed by the apex court.
The PIL requested the court to direct the state government to ensure that all diesel-run commercial and public transport vehicles be converted into CNG vehicles if they want to ply on roads.