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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has shot down a plea that was seeking changes to its order that banned vehicles that are over 15 years old to operate within the national capital. The ban was based on the theory that it would save the lives of senior citizens during the Covid-19 crisis.
A bench that was spearheaded byJustice Adarsh Kumar Goel, the Chairperson at the National Green Tribunal dismissed the plea that was filed by Mr Kamal Sahai, a resident of the city, and a senior citizen himself. The Tribunal said it had dismissed multiple such pleas in the past, and has the backing of the Supreme Court of India as well.
Mr Sahai feels that the orders of the Tribunal will impact senior citizens of Delhi and the NCR region at a time when they are most vulnerable and susceptible to the virus.
The petition that was filed via lawyers Shaan Mohan and Tushar Gupta stated that in light of the Covid-19 situation the country is facing, the NGT mandates need to be changed to allow the use of old vehicles on public roads until the virus has been contained.
The petition read, "This measure, in the submission of the applicant, will go a long way in curbing the spread of the virus and save lives; especially of senior citizens who are the most vulnerable category of persons to the virus as per various health advisories issued by the government from time to time."
"The orders have the effect of putting the citizens to hardship during this time when the governments are advising restraint and minimal external interaction. There are many senior citizens who are living independently, some of whom may even be living alone," it read further.
The National Green Tribunal has stated in an order passed on 26 November 2014 that all vehicles, diesel or petrol, that are older than 15 years will not be allowed on the roads, and that older vehicles would be seized by authorities whenever seen.
Vehicles that are over 15 years old are not allowed to be parked at any public place, and if found, the NGT said that vehicles would be towed and fine would be slapped in accordance with the law.
Thoughts About The National Green Tribunal Dismissing The Petition To Allow Vehicles Older Than 15 Years To Operation
We are impressed that the NGT has put its foot down and said no. Yes, there is a need for social distancing and a need to own and operate one's own vehicle. However, the need does not justify the demand of the petition. Allowing vehicles older than 15 years to be operational right now will push pollution levels back to where they were during 2013, and it will render the whole BS6 movement to waste.