NGT defers ban on diesel vehicles till 25 May, pulls up centre

The National Green Tribunal on Monday extended till 25 May a stay on its order banning plying of over 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR, but pulled up the centre for seeking a stay of its ban order, on the basis of half-backed research.

The centre, which favours ban on diesel vehicles older than 15 years has sought a stay on the NGT's ban on diesel vehicles older than 10 years on the basis of a research published by IIT-Delhi that had contended that vehicles above 10 years give rise to only a "negligible" amount to the air pollution.

The bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, contended that the IIT-Delhi research report submitted by the ministry of road transport lacked proper research and sought a "comprehensive" and well-reasoned report to curb air pollution in the capital.

"What is the basis of this report? IIT has no business to comment on this. This report is not comprehensive enough. They have not taken samples from any place.

"IIT could have done a better job. You have placed 100 pages without conducting any study. Merely because you are IIT you can't be always right," the bench said.

Also, the tribunal noted that the IIT study only refers to private vehicles and is silent on the pollution caused by commercial vehicles, including trucks coming to the national capital.

"Base data has to be correct taking into consideration all kinds of vehicles moving or stationery. You have not associated anybody with the research and you have relied on old data.

"Don't try to tell us our order is wrong. The whole IIT report is tilted towards proving that the ban order is bad. There has to be proper reasoning to what you are saying," the bench added.

The tribunal also directed the ministry of road transport to submit its views on limiting the number of vehicles, scrapping of old vehicles, car pooling and incentives to those who want to dispose of their old vehicles.