The National Green Tribunal has asked Delhi government and other authorities to create awareness about air pollution caused by vehicular emissions and burning of municipal solid waste and issue advertisements on the lines of the odd-even scheme. The green panel said the city government should keep a tab on ambient air quality (AAQ) standards in the national capital and directed it to maintain AAQ within permissible limits.
“Why don’t you maintain ambient air quality standards in the city? We appreciate the odd-even formula introduced by the government. But what is your stand on vehicular pollution and burning of municipal solid waste? Why don’t you advertise it in the same way as odd-even scheme,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.
It also suggested introduction of destination buses in order to decongest the Delhi roads.
“Why don’t you introduce destination buses? Say for example a bus which originates from Dwarka and terminates directly at Connaught Place. This will help reduce emissions,” the bench said.
The NGT also asked advocate Tarunvir Singh Khehar, appearing for Delhi government, to implement it order banning vehicles more than 15 years old from plying in Delhi.
With the odd-even scheme set to return in the national capital from April 15, the tribunal has set up a committee of officials and asked it to collect samples of ambient air quality from different locations in the city.
During the proceedings today, advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for East Delhi Municipal Corporation, sought directions to the Transport Department of Delhi government to allow registration of new municipal vehicles beyond 2000 cc.
Advocate Shekhar told the bench that EDMC was facing “massive” difficulty in handling transportation of municipal waste due to acute shortage of municipal waste handling vehicles and that it needed 45 new vehicles for the purpose.
When NGT sought Delhi government’s response, advocate Khehar told the bench that Supreme Court recently passed an order that no trucks will be registered in the city.
Noting the submissions, the bench posted the matter for next hearing on April 8 and asked the counsel appearing for various parties to seek clear instructions on the issue.