The Supreme Court today upheld the ban imposed by National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) on plying of diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old in Delhi.
The apex court dismissed the plea challenging the NGT’s order and said, “Let us assist and not discourage them (NGT).”
In the original NGT ruling, a five-member bench, headed by Swatanter Kumar, had said that while older vehicles would be phased out in Delhi, those coming from other states would not be allowed to enter the city.
The NGT’s April 8 order is expected to impact 1,18,773 private vehicles and 34,659 commercial vehicles plying on the roads of National Capital Region.
The new upgraded ruling bans all 10-year-old diesel vehicles and 15-year-old petrol from the roads of Delhi.
Though environmentalists have welcomed the move, implementation of the process is a tough task. Every day more than 5 lakh vehicles enter Delhi, and to implement the ruling with this daily influx of vehicles will be a tough task, a newspaper reported.
The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.
Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”
The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”
The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.
On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.
During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.
The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)