The Tribunal warned that if Volkswagen fails to pay the stipulated cost within 24 hours, its India head may be arrested and all his properties may be seized.

NGT tells Volkswagen to deposit Rs 100 crore by Friday warns of punitive actionPic courtesy: EPA / Sebastian Kahnert
news Controversy Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 15:50

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed German auto major Volkswagen to deposit Rs 100 crore by Friday in accordance with its November 2018 order or face punitive action.

The Tribunal warned that if Volkswagen fails to pay the stipulated cost within 24 hours, its India head may be arrested and all his properties may be seized.

“Why have you not complied with our order when there is no stay. We will not give you any further time,” a bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice SP Wangdi said, according to PTI.

The company, however, said that all cars from the group are "compliant with the emission norms".

In November 2018, the NGT had directed the car manufacturer to deposit Rs 100 crore with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) within a month for causing "serious environmental damage" by using a cheat device that lowered vehicular emissions only during tests.

Volkswagen had challenged the order in the Supreme Court but the court refused to put a stay on the Tribunal's order.

On Tuesday, a four-member committee set up by the NGT in November, penalised Volkswagen Rs 171.34 crore for causing air pollution in Delhi due to excess nitrogen oxide emissions.

In its report, the committee noted that Volkswagen cars released an estimated 48.678 tonnes of nitrogen oxide in 2016 in the city. Nitrogen oxide is a pollutant that can cause heart and lung diseases.

“Estimated cost of health damage due to additional NOx [nitrogen oxide] emissions from the Volkswagen group vehicles is approximately Rs 171.34 crore using a metro city i.e. Delhi as a base.” Further, the valuation is for Delhi city considering that the value of NOx is 435 tonnes released in the city,” the report said.

The panel arrived at the penal amount taking into account 3.27 lakh Volkswagen cars in India that had the cheat device.

In response to the NGT's direction to deposit Rs 100 crore within 24 hours for violating vehicular emission norms, the Volkswagen group on Thursday said that although the green court's order is still pending with the Supreme Court, it will comply with the order.

"The order of the NGT is already under challenge before the Supreme Court. However, the Volkswagen Group India will comply with the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) and deposit the money, as directed," a company statement said.

With IANS inputs

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