The National Green Tribunal has questioned six states around Delhi on why they should not be instructed to completely stop diesel buses from coming to the capital.
Noting that air quality was poor during winters, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana to take a clear decision on switching to CNG vehicles and buy buses with additional fuel cylinders to resolve the issue of providing sufficient fuel in these buses.
“It is contended before us that ambient air quality is much poorer compared to the prescribed standards and there are serious environmental and public health issues arising from the pollution. It is so more particularly in the areas of Anand Vihar, Patparganj and Sahibabad,” the bench said.
“The counsel appearing for the state of Uttarakhand, UP, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to take clear instructions from their governments as to why they should not be directed to stop operating diesel buses destined to Delhi or passing via Delhi and instead operate CNG buses...,” the bench added.
The NGT also directed Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Uttar Pradesh pollution control board to submit complete details on the air pollution resulting from the industries in Patparganj, Sahibabad and Anand Vihar within a week.
It asked them to find out what pollutants are discharged by industrial units in these areas and steps that are required to be taken by them. The matter has been listed for next hearing on December 23.
In October, the green panel had rapped the states for not being clear on their policy for CNG vehicles and warned of halting state transport if they did not introduce CNG, saying most particulate matters in the air inhaled by people in Delhi emanated from there.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by Kaushambi Apartments Residents Welfare Association (KARWA). In its petition, KARWA had highlighted how the presence of two bus terminuses within 200 metre of each other in Kaushambi has exacerbated air pollution in the area and sought to relocate the Kaushambi bus stand.