The National Green Tribunal today rapped the Centre for delay in introduction of a new scrapping policy which will provide incentives for surrendering old polluting vehicles and asked it to expeditiously frame a scheme in this regard.
The green panel said more than a year has passed since its directions on "scrapping policy" which includes benefit in purchase of new cars, but nothing has been done till date except "tall claims" by the Ministry of Heavy Industries.
"You (Ministry) made tall claims before us that you are going to provide incentive for scrapping of vehicles, but did nothing. You say something before us and forget as you step outside the tribunal. We had asked you to provide scrapping procedure and propose site as well. What have you done?
"Ministry of heavy industries had assured us that it was in the process of providing methodology and incentives to those scrapping their vehicles... We direct the ministry to take clear instructions in this regard," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The green panel also directed Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh governments to hold meeting with chief secretary of Delhi government for identifying land in border areas to park vehicles banned from plying in Delhi NCR.
"This meeting should take place immediately and the minutes of the meeting should be placed on record before the tribunal on the next date of hearing," it said.
Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for Ministry of Heavy Industries, informed the bench that it was in talks with the Ministry of Finance and was examining the viability of scrapping policy.
He also said the Ministry has written to the state governments to give their views on scrapping policy but no response has been received till date.
During the hearing, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) told the bench that at present two sites have been identified at Narela and Rohini which can be temporarily provided to Delhi Police for parking of seized vehicles.
To this the bench said, "We make it clear that these sites would be given on temporary basis and no permanent structure would be raised in the area. Since no transfer of land is being done to Delhi Police, hence no charges would be paid to DDA in this regard.
(Reopens LGD 35)
The NGT further directed that vehicles which are banned from plying on roads are prohibited under Environment Protection Act, 1986 and National Green Tribunal Act and not Motor Vehicles Act.
The seized vehicles should be released only after payment of Environment Compensation besides the carriage and parking charges. DDA would be entitled to the payment of 50 per cent of these charges, it said.
Reiterating its earlier order, it said all the vehicles which are non-destined to Delhi and "required to take diverted route, Delhi Police, state police and corporation shall ensure that such vehicles do not enter the national capital".
The bench directed authorities to ensure that deregistration of all diesel-powered vehicles which are more than 10 years old from plying in the city is immediately given effect.
Delhi government, DDA, police and municipal corporations were also directed by the tribunal to hold meeting and identify other sites which to ensure parking of seized vehicles.
Under the proposed scrapping policy, people would get an incentive of up to Rs 30,000 for discarding small vehicles like cars, while total benefits after taking into account the tax exemptions could be up to Rs 1.5 lakh for big vehicles like trucks, Union minister Nitin Gadkari had said earlier.
The tribunal had on July 20 asked the Ministry to take a view regarding scrapping of vehicles and publicise benefits associated with it which would be provided to people who opt for such a policy, while barring entry of 15 to 10-year-old diesel vehicles with national permits in Delhi NCR.
It had said deregistration of 15 to 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the national capital would be carried out in a phased manner, adding that diesel vehicles which are 15 years old should be deregistered first and will not get No Objection Certificate (NoC) for plying outside Delhi-NCR.
Only de-registered diesel vehicles which are less than 15 years old can get NoC for plying in select areas outside Delhi-NCR, to be decided by states where vehicle density is less, it had said.
The green panel had also asked the states to identify areas where dispersion of air is higher and vehicle density is less. It had said that the Regional Transport Officers (RTO) in Delhi will issue NOC only for those areas which have been identified by the states.