NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday gave three weeks’ time to all the States to furnish a report on pollution levels in their worst-affected cities even as it clarified that there was no immediate plan to extend the ban on diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of over 2,000 cc to 11 to more cities.
The ban, currently in Delhi-NCR following the Supreme Court order, might be imposed in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Shimla, Jalandhar and Patna among others after the final hearing. The NGT said it would first examine the data from different States before taking a final call.
The green body directed secretaries concerned of all the States to submit an affidavit within three weeks clearly specifying the two most polluted cities in their respective States, total population, and vehicle density in each district. It will resume hearing on July 11. “We are not banning any vehicles. We have asked state governments to submit a report on the pollution levels in various cities. Let that data come and then we will hear different parties and decide accordingly,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar clarified. The observation came after Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for the Ministry of Heavy Industries, asked the bench not to extend the ban on the registration of diesel vehicles.
Laying stress on the fact that eight per cent FDI under Make in India has come from the automobile industry, the ASG said the sector generates employment opportunities and any restriction on it would have an adverse impact on the growth momentum.
Senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures, also opposed the idea and said diesel was not the only source of pollution. To this the bench said, “We want every State to give response on each aspect. Let that data come and then we will hear the matter in detail.”