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Volkswagen India was recently fined Rs 171 crore by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) panel. The cost was a 'convenience' fine for the health damage caused in India.
The amount recommended by the four-member NGT panel is said to be an estimated cost of the health damages caused due to the release of NOx. The estimate calculations of the amount of additional NOx released by Volkswagen vehicles were made using Delhi as the base city.
However, Volkswagen India has now contested the NGT's recommendation; stating that all the vehicles sold in the country are compliant with the prescribed BS-IV emission norms.
Volkswagen Group India Spokesperson, stated, 'Vehicles from Volkswagen Group India are compliant with emissions norms prescribed in the country. The Committee appointed by the NGT has accepted that Volkswagen Group India has not violated the permissible limits under BS-IV norms. There are certain recommendations in the report which Volkswagen Group India seeks to object; the issue is presently pending before the Honorable Supreme Court and the Honorable National Green Tribunal."
Earlier reports from NGT stated that around 3.27 lakh Volkswagen cars were affected in the country. The reports also suggested that these affected cars had released approximately 48.6 tonnes of additional NOx in 2016. The additional harmful gas in the atmosphere led to the formation of smog, among other harmful damages in the country.
The study by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) stated that the increase in NOx in the atmosphere has harmful effects. The rise in levels increases the formation of smog, acid rain and also leads to the formation of Particulate Matter (PM), along with ground-level ozone.
Volkswagen group, back in 2015 admitted to falsifying emission reports using an illegal cheat device in their diesel offerings. Volkswagen was apparently using an illegal device to pass the strict US anti-pollution tests. The German brand then faced criminal and civil penalties in the US and other countries worldwide.
Thoughts On The Volkswagen's NGT Fine Recommendation
Volkswagen has contested NGT's fine of Rs 171 crore, stating all the cars sold in India are BS-IV compliant. The matter is currently in the Supreme court. Over the years, Volkswagen has already paid close to USD 2.8 billion in countries like the USA and Canada. If the NGT's recommendation comes through, the German brand will face yet another major blow for the damages caused.