A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order on the plea of Karnal Independent Schools Association seeking permission to ply diesel vehicles over 10 years old until adequate number of CNG filling stations are set up in their city that falls in the NCR.
"Why can't you buy new vehicles? Karnal is almost Delhi and it is as thickly populated as any colony here. You run international schools, charge handsomely, why can't you buy new vehicles. We are not going to permit diesel vehicles in Karnal, you can be rest assured," the bench said.
When the NGT asked the lawyer appearing for association to file an affidavit stating that it was ready to fit new engines in the old buses, he withdrew his petition.
In its plea, the association had said that it runs around 900 buses in 77 schools which were all private and unaided CBSE schools in Karnal.
"The member schools do not have substantial means and resources to immediately procure approximately 175 new diesel buses. The schools cannot purchase new CNG fitted buses as well due to lack of adequate resources and as well as due to non-availability of CNG filling stations in the area.
"Many of the children who attend these schools come from far flung, rural and remote areas as well and have no means of transport besides school buses. Many of these children belong to under privileged backgrounds as well," the plea had said.
The tribunal had earlier asked Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to mull over the possibility of installing CNG stations in NCR and consider the proposal after it was informed that there was no CNG station in Karnal and Meerut.
On July 18, the green panel had directed authorities in Delhi-NCR to cancel the registration of all diesel-powered vehicles which were over 10 years old.
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