Air pollution: Plea in NGT seeks RORO service for vehicles

by chitrkunwar

New Delhi: With a view to curbing air pollution in Delhi-NCR, a plea was today moved in the National Green Tribunal seeking introduction of RORO service for commercial vehicles which are more than 10 years old.

RORO (roll-on roll-off) is a service that enables loaded trucks to be carried directly on railway wagons between two destinations.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued a notice to the Ministry of Railways and sought their reply by May 18.

“There are no trains for human beings, you want it for trucks. No train enters railway station in capital on its time,” the bench said.

The plea filed by Kailash Mishra and Himani Jain, experts in field of road transport, has sought intervention in the Vardhaman Kaushik case (related to air pollution by vehicles) for providing a “feasible” solution to the air pollution menace in Delhi-NCR.

Advocate Sanjay Upadhyay, appearing for Mishra and Jain, said that if RORO service is introduced by railways, the trucks will cross Delhi without causing pollution.

“Keeping in mind the heavy inflow of diesel vehicles in NCR, the applicants propose to introduce RO-RO service for transporting all heavy, medium and light commercial vehicles irrespective of their age or fitness level transiting through Delhi and NCR region on roll-on-roll-off train service provided by the northern railways at a cost lower than road transport cost,” the plea said.

The plea said that the Konkan Railway has been operating RO-RO service for fully loaded trucks for the last 16 years and have transported approximately 5 lakh trucks during this period.

“The technology and system of RO-RO, therefore, has been tried and tested successfully by the Indian Railways and may be replicated in NCR,” it said.

Highlighting the benefits of RORO, the petition said that this service will improve the air quality in Delhi and NCR with reduced number of commercial vehicles plying on roads.

It will also reduce noise pollution generated by these vehicles and thus curb vehicular emissions besides generating a new revenue source for Railways.

During the hearing, Ghaziabad Mahanagar Goods Transport Welfare Association also moved a plea seeking modification of the Tribunal’s order banning plying of diesel vehicles over 10 years old in Delhi-NCR.

On May 1, the Tribunal had extended till May 18 a stay on its order banning plying of diesel vehicles over 10 years old in Delhi-NCR.

The green panel had earlier issued notices to chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories seeking status report on prevention of air pollution regarding vehicular traffic.

On April 7, it had held that all diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old will not be permitted to ply in Delhi-NCR after noting that diesel is the prime source of air pollution in Delhi.

On November 26, 2014, it had banned plying of all diesel or petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old.

First Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – 23:09 | zeenews india

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