Cold-shouldering the Delhi government’s new odd-even rule, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 11 December proposed another anti-pollution measure.
To check pollution in the city, the tribunal has proposed a ban on purchase of new diesel vehicle/s by the Central and state governments.
Registration of diesel cars will stop only for the government, for now. It has also recommended the same ban for private cars, said the NGT.
However, the Delhi government is going ahead with its plan. Breaking the odd-even rule, which is being tested for a two-week period starting January 1, could cost violators Rs 2,000 or more. Questioning the rule, the tribunal stated, it would not achieve the desired purpose and instead may force people to buy two cars.
The proposal comes at a time when the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition on December 15, seeking a complete ban on diesel cars in Delhi and other cities.
Around 23% of the cars registered in Delhi run on diesel, which emits 7.5 times more particulate matter than petrol cars. On 10 December, Chief Justice of India TS Thakur had called the pollution in Delhi ’embarrassing’.
It may be recalled that in April, the tribunal had banned diesel vehicles more than 10 years old in Delhi, which is the world’s most polluted city.
“Last week, a judge from the International Court of Justice came to Delhi. It was very embarrassing for us to tell him that this is the level of pollution in the city,” he told the court.
Asking why there “was no discussion, no forum is provided” to deal with the problem, Justice Thakur said, “It is not possible for us to solve every problem.”