UP to challenge NGT order banning old diesel vehicles

The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to move the Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order directing transport departments in the National Capital Region (NCR) to deregister and impound diesel vehicles older than 10 years.

The UP government will challenge the NGT order on the grounds that the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act does not have a provision for deregistration of vehicles. Additionally, the UP government is also worried about a backlash from farmers as it heads into elections due early next year.

''We are planning to move the court next week to seek clarifications on the modalities of implementation of the NGT order. Many clauses in the order are not supported by the MV Act and we fear many owners affected by the order might agitate or file civil suits,'' said UP transport commissioner K Ravinder Naik.

''The main point we want to raise is that the MV Act does not have a provision to deregister vehicles. The NGT order asking us to deregister diesel vehicles older than 10 years is something which anyone can challenge in court. We will seek clarifications on these points,'' Naik added.

The UP government fears the NGT order might upset farmers, who rely on tractors and trucks. Thousands of them will have to be impounded in accordance with the NGT order. ''Our transport minister Yasar Shah raised concerns over a possible law and order situation breaking out in parts of western UP that are in the NCR,'' said Naik.

Looking for answers, UP government officials met Bhure Lal, chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to discuss ''complications'' arising out of the NGT order. The EPCA refused to officially offer advice. ''We have nothing to do with the NGT order so we cannot comment,'' said Bhure Lal.

The UP government has decided to send its advocates to meet counterparts in the Delhi government to discuss issues that should be taken up while moving the court.

Delhi transport minister Satyendar Jain Thursday said he had advised transporters to approach the Supreme Court. He had added the government would take legal opinion on the NGT order, following which it might move court along with aggrieved transporters.

Jain said the S C had allowed no-objection certificates to be issued to owners of 'old' diesel vehicles for selling them outside the NCR. He said the NGT order clashed with this, as it had sought deregistration and seizure of vehicles.

The Haryana government on Thursday banned 15-year-old petrol vehicles and 10-year-old diesel vehicles from plying within the NCR limits. This would apply to vehicles registered in cities under the territorial jurisdiction of the NCR, such as Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonepat and Jhajjar, said state Transport Minister Krishan Lal Panwar.