Miffed over non-execution of its 2009 orders on use of compressed natural gas(CNG) instead of diesel for public transport, including autorickshaws especially in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed the Punjab government to take the decision at an appropriate level within two months.
The division bench comprising chief justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Mahesh Grover expressed its surprise that though the high court had issued directions to the state on July 23, 2009, the process of taking such a decision has not even begun.
The court's direction came during resumed hearing of public interest litigations filed by Lt Col Naresh Ghai (retd) of Ludhiana and others. The petitioners had sought directions to authorities to check autorickshaws, especially those running in Ludhiana, by adulterating kerosene oil with fuel and causing immense pollution in the already polluted city.
The bench was apprised that of 45,000 autos running in Ludhiana hardly 12,000 were registered. Many autos did not keep Pollution Under Control certificates and illegally modified the vehicle's body, it was submitted.
On the arguments raised by the state counsel, the division bench said that since till date nothing has been done on the subject by the state, the question of monitoring laying of CNG pipelines by the Gas Authority of India Limited appears to be premature.
However, the state counsel submitted that the decision with regard to use of CNG as an alternative fuel has to be taken keeping in mind a host of connected factors including the availability of gas as use of fuel.
The bench directed the State to inform the court about its decision before May 28.