The Supreme Court on Wednesday banned registration of diesel-run SUVs and cars having engine capacity beyond 2000 cc in Delhi and National Capital Region till March 31, next year as it unveiled a slew of measures to curb the alarming rise in pollution levels in the city.Restricting the entry of commercial vehicles, which are not Delhi bound, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur also ordered 100 per cent hike of the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) being levied on light and heavy trucks using Delhi roads.
The bench also comprising justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi made it clear that commercial vehicles registered prior to 2005 will not be allowed to enter Delhi.The court had on October 9 ordered that light duty vehicles would have to pay Rs 700 and three-axle vehicles Rs 1,300 to enter Delhi in addition to the toll tax from November 1 as ECC in a bid to check high pollution levels in the city.Now, light duty vehicles will have to pay Rs 1,400 and three-axle vehicles Rs 2,600 as ECC for entering Delhi.It also said that for the time being commercial vehicles, which are not Delhi bound shall not be allowed to enter Delhi through National Highway No. VIII and I.
The bench, in one of its directions also made it clear that only CNG-run taxis would be permitted to ply in Delhi and NCR.It clarified that the order banning registration of diesel-run vehicles, which will be operational from January 1, 2016 to March 31, will not include passenger cars whose engine capacity is below 2000 cc.The Bench agreed with the submissions of senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting it in a 1984 PIL, filed by environmentalist M C Mehta, that diesel vehicles are the bigger culprit in polluting Delhi air.It also asked authorities to strictly impose restrictions on burning of municipal waste and construction activities.
Earlier, the apex court had termed the rising pollution level in Delhi as “very serious” and advocated a “multi-pronged” approach to deal with the situation.
The intolerable limit of pollution is earning a “bad name” to Delhi as “the most polluted city in the world”, it had said.
Taking note of the Centre for Science and Environment’s study that about 23 per cent of the commercial vehicles and 40-60 per cent of the heavy trucks entering the city were not destined for Delhi, the court had said it was necessary to impose the charges, along with the MCD toll, to equalise the difference in cost in travelling through alternative routes.
( Source – PTI )