New Delhi, Aug. 12 : Responding strongly to the Supreme Court's decision on lifting ban on registration of diesel vehicles of 2000cc and above capacity in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), environmentalist Vimlendu Jha on Friday said it is very unfortunate that the court has actually sided with the automobile industry.
"We are actually looking at how environment has lost today and convenience of the rich has actually won.
I hope the Supreme Court relooks at it or we have to look at the final judgment copy and challenge the order," Jha told ANI here.
"Because, we are talking about one of the worst time in our history, where there is a public health crisis.
We are talking about most polluted city in the world that is struggling to get clean air and the Supreme Court actually allowed bigger vehicles to be on the road," he added.
However, welcoming the apex court's decision, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said the apex court must have taken this decision after a long consultation.
"We respect the Supreme Court because it is one of the four pillars. After a long consultation, the Supreme Court might have given this decision. But one thing is there that diesel cars are producing more carbon particles from the climate change angle.
But at the same time, all four pillars if they will work together and do their own job and that will be a better picture in front of the country," he added.
The Supreme Court today lifted the ban on registration of diesel vehicles of 2000cc and above capacity in Delhi and NCR.
The apex court also directed that car manufactures, dealers and buyers have to deposit one percent environment cess on the purchase.
Meanwhile the decision has brought relief to car manufacturers. The decision comes days after automobile maker Mercedez Benz asked the apex court to lift the ban on diesel vehicles after the company said that it was ready to pay one percent environment cess.
The Supreme Court had last year banned the sale of large diesel vehicles in New Delhi noting that higher engine capacity leads to higher levels of pollution.
The verdict, however, did not go well with the car manufacturers. An apex court bench had earlier in January rejected the plea by car manufacturers Mercedez, Toyota and Mahindra and Mahindra to lift the interim ban.