Covid-19 lockdown: Court suggests using electric vehicles to ferry goods to Matheran
In his petition seeking transport arrangement, former NCP MLA Suresh Lad said that the railways has refused to transport LPG cylinders along with other essential commodities to Matheran saying it is against their safety norms.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 13:41 IST
The Bombay high court on Thursday suggested that electric vehicles should be used for supplying LPG cylinders to ecologically sensitive Matheran. The court’s observation came while hearing a plea on transportation of essential commodities to the hill station.
The petition has been filed by former NCP MLA Suresh Lad.
Lad informed the bench of justice A K Menon that as per the previous order of the high court, the railways had started services to transport essential commodities to the hill station. The NCP leader’s lawyer Gaurav Parkar further said that the local civic administration had not hired Bharat IV compliant vehicles which had also been directed by the court.
Parkar then added that the problem of the residents did not end as the railways has refused to transport LPG cylinders along with other essential commodities to Matheran saying it is against their safety norms.
Parkar further submitted that before the lockdown, the cylinders were brought to the hill station on horseback but it was not an ideal situation now given the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals Act and the fact that the horses are old, tired and in very bad health.
Advocate T J Pandian for central railway and advocate D P Singh for the Union of India confirmed that LPG cylinders or any inflammable material cannot be carried on railway wagons as there is an explicit bar against carriage of gas and inflammable materials.
After hearing the submissions, the court directed that the monitoring committee looking after the issue should consider the problem and come up with a solution. However, additional government pleader Manish Pabale for the state informed the court that the chairperson of the committee had retired and other members were busy with cyclone Nisarg related activities it would not be possible for it to meet before 15 days.
The court accepted the same and directed the petitioners to apply before the committee when they convened. Before adjourning the matter, the court observed, “In the meanwhile, it will not be out of place to mention that the viability of using electrically powered vehicle for movement of LPG should not be overlooked. The monitoring committee shall, therefore, consider the feasibility of such means including by considering a cost analysis study in the interests of the residents which the state is bound to protect.”