NEW DELHI 29/NOV/2014: Two days after National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered a slew of measures to tackle air pollution in the capital taking note of a TOI campaign - it indicated its dissatisfaction with the response of the government agencies by slamming both the central and Delhi government. \"Despite orders from the highest court of the land, there is hardly any improvement in the ambient air quality of NCT of Delhi. In fact, it has already been noticed in our previous order that it has gone from bad to worse. The present state of affairs cannot be permitted to persist any longer,\" the bench headed by chairman, NGT, Justice Swatanter Kumar said in a stern warning on Friday. The bench has summoned about 13 government agencies, including the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, and various departments of the Delhi government on December 2 for a \"consultative and deliberated approach\" with stakeholders to \"resolve an issue of such wide magnitude and of greatest public welfare effecting the environment.\" The bench had at its previous hearing of the same petitionVardhaman Kaushik Vs Union of India - issued a 14-point order. The one that could have the most far-reaching effect was that all vehicles - petrol or diesel - that are more than 15 years old shall not be allowed to ply on the roads, and wherever such vehicles are noticed, they will be seized by authorities under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act. TOI had reported in its Friday edition that the officials made responsible for implementing the NGT order seemed to be in no hurry to do so. In fact, some of them had said off the record that such elaborate directions would be difficult to be implemented.
On Friday, NGT added more directions to its previous order. It asked the agencies to come up with a viable plan for car pooling in Delhi, work out a plan for obstruction-free traffic flow in the city, shut down illegal PUC centres and upgrade the entire public transportation system in a way that people feel encouraged to use it. The bench recounted the \'MC Mehta Vs Union of India 1998 case\' in which Supreme Court had passed directions imposing restrictions on plying of commercial vehicles, including taxis that are more than 15 years old. It also quoted the Bhure Lal committee report of 1999 which had said that more than 90 per cent of particulate matter pollution was due to diesel. It recalled that Supreme Court in various cases, including \'Bharat Petroleum Corporation Vs Sunil Bansal case\' had again and again mandated that pollution from diesel be curtailed.
Meanwhile, the Delhi agencies haven\'t yet decided on how the major policy-related directions can be implemented. State agencies like the environment department claimed they will wait for a direction from the union ministry.