New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to expeditiously approve the draft emission standards for diesel locomotives submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). A bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to upload the guidelines for emission standards on its website.
“The counsel appearing for the CPCB submits that it has already prepared the guidelines including interim standards for locomotives to operate. Let the copy of that be circulated to all the concerned and put up on the website of the CPCB.
…we dispose of this application finally with a direction that the guidelines containing locomotive standards will be put up on the website of the CPCB and expeditious efforts shall be made by all the stakeholders including the Ministry of Railways, MoEF, CPCB and any other ministry that may be concerned with the same, to approve the final parameters for locomotive engines, after completing the study and then notify the same, the bench said.
The development comes in the wake of the green panel’s direction to set standards and ensure that railway engines don’t cause pollution.
The CPCB’s interim report, titled ‘Exhaust Emission Benchmarks for Diesel Locomotives on Indian Railways’, aims to fix standards and protocols for the sector to achieve the targets submitted by India under the Paris climate change agreement.
According to the report, the contribution of emissions from the transport sector on the whole has risen 3.5 times since 1990 to stand at 250 million tonne carbon dioxide, or 13.5 per cent of the total emissions in 2013.
The railways contributed 9.7 per cent of this figure (24.7 million tonne). Globally, however, only 3.5 per cent of the emissions from the transport sector are attributed to the rail sector, the CPCB’s report said.
The changes in the energy sources allowed for a reduction of the share of rail transport carbon dioxide emissions from 24 per cent in 1990 to less than 10 per cent in 2013, while rail activity doubled in the same period, the draft report stated.
Earlier, the tribunal had directed the environment and forests ministry to hold a meeting with the CPCB and the railways, and submit a report on emission standards for diesel locomotive within six weeks.
However, when the matter came up for hearing, the environment ministry sought more time, saying “the standards are yet to be fixed and one year’s time is required for completion”.
The railways had earlier submitted international standards for emissions from diesel engines and filed a data sheet indicating the emissions from 30 railway engines.
According to the data sheet, the emission levels in the tested 30 railway engines were much above international standards.
The directions came during the hearing on a petition filed by Dwarka-resident S K Goyal about harmful emissions from diesel locomotives.