In a bid to push for adoption of cleaner fuels by state transport corporations, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday yet again rapped states for not clearly spelling out their compressed natural gas (CNG) policies.
The green court directed Uttar Pradesh (UP), Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi to clarify policy on the use of CNG as the main fuel for public transport vehicles.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar observed that all states have to clarify on the infrastructure in place for supply and distribution of CNG. It asked them to explain which functions are to be performed by the states and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) in this regard.
“PNGRB is to clarify on when and how many cities shall be covered with supply of CNG, piped natural gas and what is the current status of CNG use in the five states,” it said. Last month, the NGT had ordered UP and Haryana governments to mull over the possibility of installing CNG stations in the National Capital Region, while refusing to grant permission to over 10-year-old diesel vehicles to ply in these areas.
It asked both the states to consider the proposal after it was informed that there was no CNG station in Karnal and Meerut. “Why should we permit diesel buses in these areas? Why don’t you run CNG buses?” the Bench had asked. The court had warned of stern action against state transport corporations, if its directions were ignored, saying most particulate matters in the air inhaled by Delhi’ites emanated from there.
The case will be heard by NGT on October 28, when a related plea by Tata Motors and other automakers will also be heard. Carmakers are seeking clarifications on previous orders of the NGT regarding the scrapping of diesel vehicles in Delhi.
After imposing a ban on passenger vehicles, with diesel engines of 2,000 cc or more, the Supreme Court had, in August, allowed registration after stipulating that one per cent of such vehicles’ ex-showroom price be paid by manufacturers and distributors for registration in Delhi.
Tata has complained that the issue is still mired in confusion with the earlier NGT order still in force. It had contended that the NGT order applied to private vehicles alone, and said the Delhi government had interpreted this to include commercial vehicles and was refusing to register these.