Car connoisseurs in Delhi have been given a reason to rejoice by the National Green Tribunal, who on Friday made an exception to the ban on vehicles older than 15 years on Delhi roads and gave permission to the 21 Gun Salute Heritage and Cultural Trust to conduct their International Vintage Car Rally in February.
“We permit this rally as a one-time event from February 17 to 19,” said the NGT bench headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
Now that they have been granted permission by the NGT bench, the seventh edition of the vintage car rally will be held in Delhi-NCR in the third week of February.
The fifth and sixth editions of the rally had also taken place after getting exemptions and permissions approved by the tribunal.
“We make it clear that none of the vintage cars would be otherwise permitted on the roads of NCR, Delhi, nor any authority would issue fitness certificates to them without specific order of the tribunal,” were the instructions given by the bench on the earlier two occasions.
The latest order came in the wake of a plea filed by the organisers of the car show, who argued that they hold the event to raise funds for spastic children.
The plea sought a “clarification or exemption” to the November 2014 NGT order, that banned all petrol and diesel vehicles older than 15 years in the national capital in the wake of the deteriorating air quality in the city, “with regard to its applicability to vintage car rally.”
“It is pertinent to mention here that in the rallies held in the past, spastic and blind children have been associated and have also benefited from the same as they not only took part in the rally but also received part of the proceeds from the organisers of the rally. In the rally, spastic children and blind children will be associated,” said the plea, filed through advocate P V Raghunandan.
In July last year, the NGT had ordered the Delhi government to de-register diesel vehicles that were 10 years old or more, but had asked them to start with automobiles older than 15 years in the first phase, in an attempt to combat the rising air pollution.
The rally, which will have the theme of “Motivation is what keeps you going,” is expected to be flagged off from Red Fort on February 17, and will feature over a hundred vintage cars and bikes from India and abroad, including a few ‘Maharaja’ cars which are expected to put in an appearance.
The three day event will draw to a close at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, according to the plea.
(With inputs from PTI)