Impound old vehicles, identify land to keep them: NGT

New Delhi, Nov 28 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday again ordered the Union Heavy Industry Ministry to quickly frame a scrapping policy while directing the Delhi government to identify land pockets to keep scrapped and impounded four-wheelers.

A bench headed by NGT chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar (retd) directed the Delhi government to hold a meeting with the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to identify the land pockets to keep and park the vehicles which are not allowed in the NCR or are impounded.

It also reminded the Delhi government and Delhi Police that they are supposed to impound the old vehicles which, for now, are only being fined.

The NGT had earlier asked the Delhi government to impound all the four-wheelers older than 15 years and diesel vehicles over 10 years old, in the National Capital Region (NCR), under the Environment Protection Act.

The bench said that over one year had passed since the Ministry was asked to frame a policy on scrapping old vehicles and offering benefits to owners who give up their old vehicles.

“You made tall claims before us that you are going to provide incentive for scrapping of vehicles, but did nothing,” the bench told the Heavy Industry Ministry.

The Ministry said that it is in talks with the Union Finance Ministry and working on the policy. It added that it sought views of the states on the scrapping policy but no reply has been received so far.

The NGT last year in April ordered a ban on diesel vehicles that were 10 year old or more. The order was challenged, but the NGT dismissed the appeal.

The NGT in July this year also dubbed diesel as a “major cause of pollution” and ordered that all old diesel vehicles plying in the NCR must be de-registered with immediate effect.

However, despite the order, old diesel vehicles continue to run.

NGT had earlier asked both the Central and Delhi governments on their views on impounding old Diesel vehicles. The Central government, however from time to time, reiterated its view that vehicular pollution is not the reason for air pollution in Delhi.

–IANS

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