The Haryana government today told the National Green Tribunal that motorcycles which have valid pollution under control (PUC) certificates would be allowed to participate in BJP chief Amit Shah’s proposed rally in Jind. One lakh motorcycles are expected to be mobilised during Shah’s February 15 rally in Haryana’s Jind district. The state pollution control board told a bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore that preventive measures including deployment of volunteers have been advised to tackle noise and air pollution in Jind and motorcycles would not to be allowed to enter at the rally site and the vehicles will be parked at a sufficient distance. “Respondent (State pollution control board) has already advised the Deputy Commissioner of Jind District to permit only those vehicles which have valid PUC Certificates to take part in the proposed rally,” it said.
The board said the district administration has been advised to display special banners or hoardings at prominent sites, hot-spots and proposed rally venue to avoid blowing of vehicle horns. The board also said it was proposing to monitor ambient air quality and noise levels before and after the rally on February 15 to ascertain the actual pollution during these days. “To ensure smooth movement of vehicles and to avoid traffic congestion especially in hot spots and rally ground, special force and volunteers be deployed. Motorcycles also not to be allowed to enter into Rally site and preferably the vehicles to be parked at a sufficient distance.
“To prevent air pollution from suspended dust particles, all the major/district roads as well as road crossing in and around of proposed rally area be required to be wetted by sprinkling of water by deploying tankers/water fogging machines for dust suppression,” Haryana State Pollution Control Board said. The NGT today asked the parties to file their replies and posted the matter for hearing on February 15. The submissions were made in an affidavit filed in response to a plea seeking reduction in the number of bikes at the rally in Jind on pollution grounds. The board said the petition should be dismissed as it is based on “assumptions, conjectures and surmises” and there was no reason to believe that the proposed rally was likely to cause adverse impact on the environment and ecology of Delhi-NCR.
“It is submitted that the applicant is alleging baseless apprehensions without any evidence, reports or studies and only on the basis of newspaper articles,” it said. The NGT was hearing a plea filed by advocate Victor Dhissa who has sought screening and reduction in the number of bikes which were likely to participate in the rally to be held on February 15. The plea, filed through advocate Sumeer Sodhi, contended that instead of motorcycles, the state government should opt for bicycles or other environment friendly modes of transport for the rally. It would also be beneficial for the health of those riding bicycles, the petition read. “Direct the respondents (authorities) to either reduce the number of motorbikes proposed to be mobilised or use more environment friendly modes and methods, such as bicycles, by foot or e-rickshaws,” the plea said.