SC mulling to hike environment compensation charge, stop registration of diesel-run SUVs, heavy vehicles
The Environment Compensation Charge charge for light duty vehicles entering Delhi is likely to be hiked to Rs 1, 400.
New Delhi: Amid mounting concerns over alarming pollution levels, the Supreme Court On Tuesday indicated that it may bar registration of diesel-run SUVs, cars with engine capacity of over 2000 cc and commercial vehicles for three-four months, besides hiking by 100 percent green cess levied on trucks entering Delhi.
The court had on October 12 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 'Environment Compensation Charge' (ECC) in a bid to check high pollution levels in the city.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said that it it may increase by 100 per cent the ECC on commercial vehicles using Delhi roads as a transit for their onward journey to destinations outside the national capital.
Now, the light duty vehicles may have to pay Rs 1400 and three-axle vehicles Rs 2,600 as ECC for entering Delhi.
The bench, also including Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi, is likely to pronounce the interim directions tomorrow as it today ran out of time.
During the three-hour-long hearing, the bench asked the counsel representing Centre and the Delhi government to come out with comprehensive long and short term plans to tackle the menace of air pollution.
"Why don't you people take credit of cleaning Delhi air? You could enumerate the steps to be taken and why you are asking the court to do it," it said.
The court said that as an interim measure for three-four months, it may ban registration of SUVs, high-end cars having engine capacity of over 2000 cc, besides banning entry of commercial vehicles, registered prior to 2005, in Delhi.
It also said that only CNG cabs may be allowed to run on Delhi roads and the ban on burning of the municipal waste be enforced strictly, besides introduction of Euro-IV emission norms.
The bench was hearing various pleas including the 1984 PIL filed by environmentalist MC Mehta.
Even as the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government is yet to officially announce the implementation of odd-even formula in Delhi to check the air pollution level, the apex court today came out in support of it.
"Have not stopped you from implementing odd-even formula, if you believe this is way forward then go ahead and implement," SC told Delhi government, according to ANI.
The SC on Thursday said that the alarming problem of air pollution in Delhi could be tackled through a multi-pronged policy and ad hoc solutions would not be helpful.
In an attempt to curb the commercial vehicles contributing to the already alarming air pollution, the apex court had on October 9 imposed an ECC of Rs 700 on light vehicles and 2 axle trucks and Rs 1,300 on 3 and 4 axle trucks entering the national capital in the course of their onward journey.
Imposed for four months on experimental basis, it would remain in force till February 29, 2016.
(With Agency inputs)