The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday gave three weeks to all the states to furnish data on pollution levels in their two worst-affected cities so as to help it in passing directions over extending the ban on diesel vehicles beyond 2000cc in cities other than the National Capital Region.
An NGT bench headed by chairperson Swatanter Kumar directed all the states to submit within three weeks data on vehicular population (a break-up of heavy vehicles and light vehicles, diesel vehicles and petrol vehicles, and two wheelers/three wheelers/four wheelers), sources of pollution, the two most polluted cities and population in their respective states as it stands today. It also asked every state to inform about any mechanism in place to determine the age of vehicles.
The bench also directed the state governments to put their affidavits on their respective websites.
A day earlier, NGT had asked eight states — Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Punjab — to file their response on pollution levels. This was extended to all the states on Tuesday. The matter will next come up for hearing on July 11-12, 2016.
Both the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) and the heavy industries ministry requested the tribunal against passing any blanket ban on big diesel cars across the country.
Stating that diesel cars are responsible for miniscule level of pollution, the auto industry body said it is dust which is the major source of pollution in the country.
Senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi and counsel Sandeep Narain argued that its members have made significant investments which would be in jeopardy.
They said there are other sources of pollution that need to be looked at and vehicular pollution was not the only source.