- FM cited the 2014 NGT order banning diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi-NCR in the budget speech
- This law is likely to affect the states of UP, Rajasthan and Haryana coming under NCR
- Farmers have criticised this order saying that small farmers can not afford new tractors
TAD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Ignoring 2014 NGT order’s ban on diesel vehicles older than 10 years in Delhi-NCR, Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Tikait gave a call for ‘Tractor Kranti (revolution)’. Igniting inspiration in farmers disappointed with the old NGT order, Tikait appealed to tractor-owning farmers to protest against the contentious farm bills.
At the Ghazipur protest site, faces of farmers had dimmed when Finance Minister Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that the voluntary vehicle scrapping NGT order would be finally implemented. The 2014 order of the NGT states that any petrol and diesel vehicle older than 15 years and 10 years respectively shall not be allowed to ply on the roads in Delhi-NCR, to limit pollution. As per the order, Sitharaman said that personal vehicles older than 20 years will have to undergo a fitness test, while commercial ones would have to take the test after 15 years.
“As per this order, my tractor which I bought eight years ago will go out of use after two years or at max, after seven years if the 15-year rule is imposed. It will be a huge loss,” Muzaffarnagar resident Vikas Kadiyan said.
Opposing the NGT order, Tikait had told the crowd on Saturday, “The tractors which run in the farms will now run at the NGT’s office in Delhi also. Until recently, they had not asked which vehicles are 10 years old. What is their plan? Phase out tractors older than 10 years and help the corporates? But the tractors older than 10 years will also run, and the movement (for repeal of the new farm laws) will also be strengthened.”
Although UP farmers from Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Meerut and Baghpat are worried about the consequences of the law, Tikait is zealously mobilising farmers across the country to participate in the ongoing farmers’ agitation.
“Recently, 20,000 tractors were in Delhi and the next target is taking that number to 40 lakh,” Tikait had said.
“Before such a decision is implemented, it would have been better if the NGT had asked the government in Delhi to replace all their old vehicles and see how difficult and expensive the process could be. Also, train engines running on diesel should be stopped and aircraft stopped in Delhi, if environment is the real concern,” Kadiyan said, pointing out that farmers can rarely afford new vehicles.
Manji Singh Rai, the President of Bhartiya Kisan Union (Doaba) said, “Tractors are like our sons. We don’t drive tractors in the city. We work with them in the fields. Farmers use tractors for 20-25 years. They do not have money to buy new ones.”
“If the government is so concerned about old vehicles, it should provide new tractors to the farmers,” he said about government’s proposal.
Ranjit Singh, a farmer protester from Monga, said, “The government brings only those laws that are against the farmers. Tractor is not just a machinery for us, it’s like a family member for us that helps us earn our livelihood.”
Criticising the order, farmers have suggested that tractors be checked individually and their Pollution Under Control (PuC) certificate be reviewed regularly. So far, the order is most likely to affect NCR comprising of 23 districts from the three states of Haryana, UP, Rajasthan and the entire national capital territory of Delhi.
Source – Hindustan Times