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Pollution plea reaches NGT against Amit Shah’s bike rally

The petitioner, Victor Dhissa, a Supreme Court lawyer, has contended that instead of motorbikes, the state government should opt for bicycles or other environment friendly modes of transport for the rally

india Updated: Feb 09, 2018 12:49 IST
Hitender Rao
BJP national president Amit Shah
BJP national president Amit Shah(PTI File Photo)

An environmental activist has moved the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking ban on the mobilisation of 1 lakh motorcycles during BJP national president Amit Shah’s February 15 rally in Jind, where he will sound bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The petition, on pollution grounds, was filed in the NGT on Thursday contending that the bike rally may worsen the air quality index of Haryana and Delhi comes close on the heels of announcement by Jat outfits to disrupt the rally over reservation.

The petition will be heard by the NGT bench of Justice SP Wangdi and Satyawan Singh Garbyal on Friday, six days before the BJP rally.

The petitioner, Victor Dhissa, a Supreme Court lawyer, has contended that instead of motorbikes, the state government should opt for bicycles or other environment friendly modes of transport for the rally. It will also be beneficial for the health of those riding bicycles, the petition reads.

Also Read: Haryana to withdraw 70 FIRs, Jats adamant on disrupting Amit Shah’s rally

The petitioner said he was has been forced to prefer the application following the announcement one lakh motorbikes will be mobilized for rally being organized by Haryana government for honouring and welcoming the president of a political party. “The state BJP chief has announced that at least five persons from each of the 17,018 polling booths will reach the venue on motorbikes, thereby implying that almost one lakh bikes will reach the venue in Jind district on February 15,’’ the petitioner said.

“As recent as November 2017, Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) was facing widespread poor ambient air quality to the extent of schools being shut down, public advisories being issued asking people to stay indoors….. However, to the utter shock of the applicant, the Haryana government has mindlessly organized this huge motorbike rally which is certainly going to have a long term environmental harm to the NCR area. The state government should also consider the impact of such a huge motorbike rally on noise pollution levels,’’ the petitioner has contended.

It has further contended that Jind district, which is in the National Capital Region (NCR), has an approximate area of 3,606 square kilometres with a population of 1.68 lakh. “ If the state government is allowed to carry on with the mobilization of one lakh bikes and their assembly in Jind, it would cause major congestion in the area in addition to air and noise pollution. “ Most of the two wheelers in the NCR were not complying with the latest Bharat Stage-IV emission norms and were much older, which would further contribute to air pollution,’’ the petition said.

Praying that Haryana government should be directed to carry out an exercise to determine which motor bikes were compliant with the current emission norms, the petitioner has sought directions to the state government to either reduce the number of motor bikes proposed to be mobilized for the event or use more environment friendly modes – bicycles, e rickshaws, travel on foot.