The Ghaziabad regional transport officer has banned plying of diesel-run buses that have permits to run in Ghaziabad. The direction means that such buses will not be able to operate on city roads till they switch to CNG fuel.
The move comes after an earlier meeting held by the regional transport authority (RTA) on July 15, 2016, in which it directed the transport department to give operators six months to convert their buses to being CNG-run.
“The RTA meeting was held following an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Since the issue was taken up with state officials, they directed us to take up the issue in the RTA meeting. There it was decided to give six months to such bus operators to switch to CNG,” said Mayank Jyoti, regional transport officer, Ghaziabad region.
“The six-month period is over. Some operators are yet to convert to CNG. We have directed for stoppage of operations of such buses and told our enforcement department to seize such buses if found plying on city roads,” he added.
According to officials, a total of 298 buses have permits to operate in the city. However, 57 of them are yet to convert to CNG. A majority of these buses have permits to run on several routes in Ghaziabad, including Ghaziabad border to Dadri and Loni Kot Ka Pul and the route from New Subzi Mandi in Sahibabad to Pilkhuwa in Hapur.
The NGT order came in response to a petition by Kaushambi apartment residents’ welfare association (Karwa) before NGT in August 2015 in which the issue of operation of diesel-run city buses was taken up.
“We had brought it to the notice of the tribunal that operation of such buses from near Kaushambi is a major contributing factor of pollution. Then, we also filed a contempt petition and RTA gave its directions. The bus operators, running nearly 48 mini buses from Sahibabad to Pilkhuwa, also moved an intervention application and tried to obtain a stay on the RTA order. However, the tribunal has so far declined to take up their petition,” said VK Mittal, president, Karwa.
On the issue of rising air pollution in and around Kaushambi, which is located next to ISBT Kaushambi, ISBT Anand Vihar and the Ghazipur landfill site, an expert committee also held a nearly three-hour joint inspection last week.
A week before, the UP pollution control board had also conducted a weeklong study and monitored the ambient air quality at Kaushambi.
“Despite our repeated pleas, officials of the transport department have failed to enforce their orders. In the next hearing in March, we will apprise the court about the issue,” Mittal added.