India’s environment minister not in favour of diesel ban to curb pollution

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 Jun 2016

Speaking at the inauguration of Force Motors’ new engine and axle plant in Chakan today, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests & Climate Change, said: “Banning diesel (2.0-litre engines) is not the right way."

Javadekar called the ban as “unfortunate”, stating that there already measures taken to curb pollution. He further said that the diesel ban has stopped new vehicles with latest technologies from plying on roads at the same time allowing old polluting vehicles.

Air pollution has been aggravating since the past 10 years. The judiciary must also acknowledge that this government is taking steps (to tackle pollution). We are making pollution norms more stringent across all sectors. Policy and execution is the job of the executive. Legality of any decision is the job of the judiciary. Legislators’ job is to legislate. These are the three organs created by the Constitution, which must work independently. We must respect each other. This is the need of the hour. When all will move in one direction we will achieve more goals than what planned.”

Javadekar also complimented the Indian auto industry for accepting the challenge of the new emission norms by 2020. “There will some grumblings but after the notification, they have accepted,” he said. 

Recently, the NGT banned diesel vehicles that are over 10 years old in six major cities of Kerala, and even directed the State government to not register any diesel-engined vehicle over 2,000cc. The Kerala high court, however, stayed the order on the registration for two months, while not holding up the recently imposed ban.

In a bid to tackle the rising levels of pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court had imposed a ban on the sale of diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacities over 2,000cc, starting mid-December until its expiry on March 31, 2016. However, since then the apex court has extended the ban thrice, and the same is now in place until the next hearing.

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