Volkswagen Fined Rs 100 Cr For Causing Air Pollution In Delhi; NGT Asks To Deposit Penalty
January 18th, 2019 / 3:24 PM
Image Credits: In Khabar
On January 17, the National Green Tribunal(NGT) penalised the German car manufacturer, Volkswagen for causing air pollution in the national capital. The NGT told the manufactures to deposit Rs 100 crore with Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within 24 hours; January 18 evening or face stringent action. The NGT pulled up the company for not complying to tribunal’s earlier order, which had asked the company to deposit the penalty in November 2018. In the latest development, Volkswagen has agreed to comply with the NGT’s order.
“Why have you not complied with our order when there is no stay. We will not give you any further time,” said the tribunal bench. The bench also asked the company to submit an affidavit of compliance after deposit, reported Live Mint.
NGT told the company that if it fails to deposit the penalty amount in the given frame of time, the NGT would order for the arrest of the carmaker’s country Managing Director (MD) and it would also order for the seizure of companies properties in India.
Why is the company penalised?
On November 16, last year the NGT had constituted a four-member expert panel and had asked them to submit a report on the matter. The probe on Volkswagen started in the wake of the 2015 global emission scandal in which Volkswagen was found guilty of programming its diesel engines with cheat devices that showed less emission of Nitrous Oxides(NOx) only during the car tests. During the Scandal, it came out that the company made these cheat device to meet US regulatory standards but actually emit up to 40 times more NOx in real-world conditions.
The expert panel in its report that came out on December 24, 2018, concluded that the company cars had released approximately 48.678 tonnes of NOx in 2016 in Delhi. The NGT panel calculated companies’ damage only done in Delhi, and it said that the “estimated cost of health damage due to additional NOx from the Volkswagen group vehicles is approximately Rs 171.34 crore”. Further, the panel had asked the car manufacturer to deposit Rs 100 crore and had given them a month time to deposit the money. The committee decided the penalty amount on the basis of the 3.23 lakh Volkswagen cars that had the “cheat device” installed in India.
More emission of Nitrogen oxide by the Volkswagen cars
The panel formed by the NGT included experts from Automotive Research Association of India, Director Rashmi Urdhwareshe, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute Chief scientist Dr Nitin Labhsetwar. It also had Ministry of Heavy Industries Director Ramakant Singh, and Central Pollution Control Board Member (CPCBM) Secretary Prashant Gargava.
After the global scandal had come out, earlier, in December 2015, the company has announced call back of 3,23,700 lakh vehicles in India to fix the emission software. The move was followed by a few tests done by Automotive Research Association of India on some Volkswagen’s car models that showed that on-road the company car emissions were 1.1 times to 2.6 times higher than the applicable BS-IV norms, reported The Indian Express.
How is it harmful?
Talking about the harmful consequences due to the emission of NOx and NO2, the expert panel said that “longer exposures to elevated concentrations of NO2 may contribute to the development of asthma and potentially increase susceptibility to respiratory infections”.
The expert panel also told the tribunal that automobiles are a major source of nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide emission and prolonged exposure of nitrogen dioxide may cause asthma and respiratory infections.
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Edited by : Bharat Nayak