Amid the see-sawing developments over the much-debated upon diesel car ban in several states in the nation, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday gave three weeks time to all states to furnish a report on the pollution levels in their worst-affected cities.
The next hearing over the matter is on 11 July, in which all states will have to present data on vehicular population, pollution from dust and the two most-polluted cities in their respective states to the NGT.
During the hearing today, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand told the NGT that about eight per cent FDI under 'Make in India' has come from the auto industry and that the sector also generates employment opportunities
"We don't want the industry to suffer, which is why the government has brought fuel guidelines. The whole idea is that people must prosper. The NGT passed an order but the same was stayed by the High Court. There aren't enough evidences to show that diesel vehicles are causing more pollution," Anand told the media here after the hearing.
Anand, who is representing the Centre in the matter, asserted that there must be a broad plan for a long, short, and medium term to curb pollution.
The Auto Manufacturers Association also conveyed to the NGT that vehicular pollution was not the sole cause of pollution and that cars above 2,000 cc were not the major source of pollution.
Earlier, the NGT bench, after hearing a petition filed by Lawyers Environmental Awareness Forum (LEAF), ordered that diesel vehicles older than 10 years may not be allowed to ply in six cities, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kothamangalam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode.
The bench also directed the traffic police to take action and charge a fine of Rs. 5,000 as environment compensation from defaulters.
The petition had demanded that toxic gases by the old diesel vehicles such as lorries and buses should be immediately curtailed and a strict rule should be brought forward for it.
-With agency inputs