Monday, 21 May 2018

Court scraps Prague air improvement program as unrealistic

ČTK |
13 February 2018

Prague, Feb 12 (CTK) - The Prague Municipal Court has cancelled most of the Environment Ministry's programme for the improvement of the quality of air in Prague, saying it was vague, without any timetable, and projected unrealistic goals such as the completion of the city's ring road by 2020, CTK has found out.

The ministry said it will analyse the court decision but will react only after courts issue verdicts in another two similar cases related to air improvement programmes in Brno and the area of Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia.

The Prague programme, which the ministry launched in 2016, was challenged by the Frank Bold law company that deals with environment-related issues. According to it, the abolition of the challenged programmes would not harm the environment, and their implementation may continue until they are replaced by new and more concrete programmes.

Air pollution in Prague is mainly caused by road transport, on which the programme in question largely focuses, projecting a 40-percent reduction of road transport emissions by 2020, compared with 2011, and introducing measures to achieve the goal.

The court said the proposed measures were too vaguely formulated and their effect was therefore uncontrollable.

Furthermore, the programme reckoned with the Prague ring road's completion by 2020 although as early as 2013 it became clear that such deadline cannot be met, the court said.

It criticised the programme for failing to define conditions concerning the route of the ring and other roads aimed to divert the traffic from the capital city.

The court abolished a large part of the programme and the ministry has to draft new, more concrete set of goals and measures now.

Last year, the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS) dealt with a similar complaint and abolished a programme for air quality improvement in the Ostrava area.

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