The Center is expected to put up a strong case against the diesel vehicle ban on 10 year old vehicles by National Green Tribunal, thanks to a report submitted by IIT Delhi. For now, NGT has decided to extend the deadline for the ban.
The study concluded that by bringing in the ban on such vehicles, the resultant reduction in atmospheric pollution PM2.5 will be only 1 percent. These findings were in contravention to earlier studies of how the transport sector was contributing to 18-20 percent of total air pollution in the National Capital.
PM2.5 has adverse effects on health with increase in cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and respiratory infections. Samples were collected in 2014 from Mathura Road which has an average traffic flow of 1.70 lakh vehicles per day. The study compared pollution on Sundays and weekdays with PM2.5 pollution being 6-7 percent lower on Sundays than on weekdays while findings on April 30, 2015 when all transport vehicles were on strike made little difference to air pollution levels. The study also found that pollution could be reduced significantly if quality of fuels were improved.
The Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson of NGT officially extended the stay following Additional Solicitor, General Pinky Anand, appearing for Ministry of Road Transport and Highways requested for more time to look into the matter of reducing vehicular pollution. The Additional Solicitor General affirmed that the Ministry will be conducting meetings to sort out the issue of increasing air pollution and hence the stay will continue.
Also Read – WHO Guidelines for air pollution in India
NGT also slammed the report submitted by IIT Delhi, reveals PTI. The bench said that IIT has no business to comment on the situation as there is no basis on the report submitted by them. The bench also said that IIT cannot always be right, even though they submitted a 100 page report.