Kerala high court has stayed National Green Tribunal’s order which directed the state government not to register passenger cars that have diesel engines larger than 2.0-litre. The stay which is valid for the next 2 months has been issued following a petition from Nippon Toyota which claimed that there are illegalities in the NGT order and it was passed without hearing the manufacturers of diesel engines.
Earlier this month, NGT came up with Kerala diesel ban after hearing a petition filed by Lawyers’ Environmental Awareness Forum (LEAF) which said that the state’s top cities feature in the list of most polluted cities in India. However, the high court chose not to impose a stay on the ban on diesel vehicles that are older than 10 years in top 6 cities of the state including Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram.
The stay is effective for 2 months.
NGT imposed the diesel ban in the state even as SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) was arguing against the Delhi diesel ban. The auto industry body recently stated that around 5,000 jobs were lost in addition to production loss of 11,000 units due to the ban in Delhi.
SIAM also argued that the 2.0-litre limit is arbitrary and the extension of the ban to other states would result in even greater loss. On the other hand, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) condemned SIAM for underplaying the role of diesel vehicles in Delhi’s pollution woes.
Meanwhile, Toyota Kirloskar Motor is revisiting its strategy and may not launch new premium products in the country.