Right to Life being snatched: NGT orders new vehicle ban, hits out at officials over Delhi pollution crisis

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India’s environment watchdog ordered a ban on old vehicles and trucks with construction material from the national capital region on Thursday morning, strengthening curbs and heavily criticising authorities for failing to tackle an unprecedented pollution build-up.

Diesel vehicles older than 10 years, petrol cars older than 15 years should not be allowed to enter Delhi and trucks carrying construction material must be stopped in the entire NCR, which includes cities of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the National Green Tribunal ordered, according to news agency ANI.

Almost in tandem, the Delhi high court too issued orders to the Union and state governments to hold emergency meetings within three days to tackle the smog crisis and explore options such as bringing back the Odd-Even restrictions – an alternate-day vehicle rationing system.

The other option the HC suggested be looked at was cloud seeding to create artificial rain.

The NGT, which has previously issued several orders to governments in states surrounding Delhi, took a strong line on Thursday’s hearings.

“Articles 21 & 48 of the Constitution mandate that it is the responsibility of governments to make sure that citizens get a clean and conducive environment. Right to life is being snatched from people since they’re not getting a clean environment,” ANI quoted the tribunal as saying.

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