A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar directed Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum to hold a meeting along with representatives of their contractors and devise a mechanism to remove BS-III oil tankers.
The Supreme Court had earlier imposed a ban on sale and registration of vehicles which are not BS-IV compliant in India from April 1 when the new emission norms came into force.
"As far as the BS-III compliant vehicles run by the contractors under the tenders are concerned, within two weeks the Managing Directors of all the three companies along with representatives of the contractors shall hold a meeting and submit to the Tribunal a complete programme in regard to phasing out of all the diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old and are BS-III compliant," the bench said.
The top environment watchdog, however, directed the authorities not to renew registration of these vehicles in Delhi-NCR in the meanwhile.
The NGT had earlier directed oil companies to immediately stop plying Bharat Stage-I and Bharat Stage-II vehicles in the National Capital Region for transporting petrol or petroleum products.
The direction came while hearing a batch of petitions filed by various contractors seeking registration of new BS-IV compliant diesel vehicles purchased for transport of petrol from company depots to identified petrol pumps in Delhi-NCR.
The auto emission norms are emission standards which are adopted by the government to check the air pollutants released from any internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles.
These norms were introduced in India in 2000, when the Bharat Stage norms were adopted by the then government, based on the European emission norms.
Each stage specifies a certain limit on the pollutants released, which is controlled by the type of fuel made by the oil companies and the upgradations and modifications made by the auto firms to their vehicles to control the pollutants released from the vehicle.