The National Green Tribunal said on Tuesday there was no plan to extend the ban on diesel vehicles prevailing in the national capital and Kerala to other cities across the country.
The clarification came from the green panel which said as of now it was not planning to extend the ban and it would first examine the data received from different states on pollution levels in various cities.
The tribunal also directed the concerned secretaries of all states to submit an affidavit within three weeks stating two most polluted cities within their territory, total population and vehicle density in each district.
“We are not banning any vehicles. We have asked state governments to submit a report on the pollution levels in various cities. Let that data come and then we will hear different parties and decide accordingly,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The observation came after additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, appearing for the ministry of heavy industries, asked the bench not to extend to other cities the ban on registration of vehicles beyond 2000cc.
The ASG said about 8% FDI under “Make in India” has come from the automobile industry and the sector generates employment opportunities and any restriction on it would have an adverse effect on the momentum of its growth.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures, opposed the idea of extending the diesel ban to other metros and said diesel was not the only source of pollution.
“Sources of pollution are other than diesel vehicles as well. Other sources like dust and burning also contribute to the air pollution,” Singhvi said.
To this the bench said: “In any case we have already said that there are primarily three sources of pollution, burning of waste and other materials, dust emission from other sources and vehicular pollution.
“That is why we want every state to react. We want every state to give response on each aspect. Let that data come to us and then we will hear the matter in detail,” the bench said.