The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday came down heavily on the Delhi government for pollution in the Capital and underreporting the number of trucks that enter Delhi.
“The Centre says old diesel vehicles do not cause pollution, the Delhi government says vehicles from outside do not cause pollution either. Something must be wrong somewhere,” the bench stated after the Delhi government said that only 41 of 759 vehicles entering Delhi were found to be violating pollution norms. The tribunal has now ordered the transport department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Delhi police to conduct spot checks on trucks entering Delhi from three borders.
“Let them (officials) smell diesel through the night… and report to us,” the bench said. The court has called for a report on Wednesday on the movement of trucks at three borders of the Capital: Sonepat-Delhi, Ghaziabad-Delhi and Bahadurgarh-Delhi.
Government departments find themselves in a soup because none has the equipment or personnel to conduct these checks. Weigh-in-motion bridges, which weigh a vehicle while in motion, are yet to be installed at the borders. A court commissioner who went on one such check last month had testified that truckers had weapons, against which transport department officials were helpless.
The NGT also pulled up the Haryana government for delaying a status report on the eastern and western peripheral expressways. The two expressways will ensure trucks bound for states bypass the Capital. “There is no magic stick for the bypasses. You have to construct it,” the bench said. The NGT has summoned on Wednesday officials of Haryana government, highways authority of India and Haryana state industrial development corporation.