The National Green Tribunal today directed Delhi’s transport department to register six new diesel buses for Special Protection Group (SPG) subject to the condition that it submits dismantling certificate of its old vehicles.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar granted the relief to SPG and asked it to file chassis numbers of dismantled vehicles before the concerned authority for the purpose of registration of new vehicles.
The green panel passed the order after advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for SPG, said that huge deficiency has been created in its motor transport fleet and its operational efficiency in providing protection to its VIP protectees, including the Prime Minister.
He said the department has already condemned 18 old vehicles and is in process of dismantling the remaining 10 buses as they have crossed 10 years of age.
Delhi government opposed SPG’s plea and said that registration of diesel-run vehicles should be allowed only after payment of 30 per cent Environment Compensation Charge as per the Supreme Court order.
Rebutting the argument, Shekhar said the apex court order applied to only cars and SUVs. Moreover, as per the 2001 Supreme Court order in M C Mehta case, SPG vehicles are treated as a separate category besides ambulance and prison vans, he said.
SPG had approached the green panel seeking registration of its new vehicles, as the tribunal had last year banned the registration of new diesel vehicles as well as their re- registration after 10 years.
It had said SPG had exclusive mandate under the law to provide security cover to most important personalities including Prime Minister, and their family members who are vulnerable for high security threat and it has to take all adequate measures with logistics to fulfil its responsibility.