Thursday, February 9, 2023

Diesel cab drivers threaten to block major roads in capital if ban not lifted

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Threatening to block all major roads in the capital, number of diesel cab drivers gathered outside the SC

parking lot against the ban on diesel cab in the city.

Senior advocate AM Singhvi appearing for a diesel car manufacturer, submitted to the court that diesel engines are not the bigger evil and much less polluting. Singhvi further stated that the mileage of diesel vehicles is more and hence such an engine would emit less pollution. Supporting the diesel cab owners against the ban, he argued that a ban on BS IV vehicles above 2000 cc is against the polluter pays principle because older vehicles (BSI to BSIII) pollute much more. He added, “CNG vehicles pollute and have high particle matter emission; a major pollutant is NOX which is produced maximum by CNG vehicles. Besides this dirt on the roads and construction activities contribute multifold to Particulate Matter as compared to diesel engines.”

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for another manufacturer said, “Assumption that vehicles above 2000 cc belong to effluent section and cause major pollution is wrong.” Senior counsel in reply to CJI’s question on whether bigger CC engines will cause more pollution, he said “Engine capacity has nothing to do with pollution and emission depends on fuel injection.”

The bench, meanwhile, directed the Centre to take suggestions from senior counsel, and amicus curae KK Venugopal. He had earlier informed the court that catalytic convertors can be installed in diesel cars that will make BS I at par with BS IV. He also requested the court to send a proposal in this regard to statutory authorities under rule 160(d) of the Pollution Act.

The court will hear the matter on May 10.

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