New Delhi: In a major step towards curbing growing air pollution in Delhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday announced a slew of measures, among them banning registration of diesel-run SUVs and cars having engine capacity beyond 2000 cc with immediate effect till March 31, 2016.
The interim ban on registration of diesel-run luxury cars will also be implemented in the National Capital Region, PTI reported.
The apex court also ordered that all commercial vehicles, including trucks, which are not Delhi-bound, will not be allowed to enter the national capital through entry points NH-8 and NH-1. Delhi Police will come up with alternate routes for such commercial vehicles, the court said.
Further, all commercial vehicles including trucks registered before 2005 will not be allowed to enter the capital even if bound for Delhi.
The court today also raised by 100 percent the green cess currently being levied on commercial vehicles entering Delhi.
The environment compensation charge (ECC), currently levied at Rs 700 on light duty vehicles and Rs 1,300 on three-axle vehicles, will now go up to Rs 1400 and Rs 2,600, respectively.
Further, the apex court ordered that all taxis in Delhi will have to be converted to CNG by March 31 next year.
In other measures, the Supreme Court ordered authorities to strictly enforce the ban on burning of municipal waste in the capital.
Also, it ordered that NGT guidelines to be followed at construction sites be strictly enforced.
The Supreme Court had yesterday said that the rich can't be allowed to keep on driving diesel-driven SUVs that pollute the environment.
The court had also slammed car manufacturers which had knocked at its doors against the National Green Tribunal order banning registration of diesel cars in the capital.
"People's life is at stake and you are interested in selling cars," Chief Justice TS Thakur was quoted as saying by NDTV.
During the three-hour-long hearing yesterday, the Supreme Court bench indicated support to the odd-even formula proposed by the Delhi government to tackle growing air pollution in the national capital, which is now being described as 'a gas chamber'.
“We have not stopped you from implementing odd-even formula. If you believe this is the way forward, then go ahead and implement,” the court told the Delhi government.
The court yesterday also asked the counsel representing the Centre and the Delhi government to come out with comprehensive long- and short-term plans to curb 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 Delhi government has announced that it will implement the odd-even formula for cars in the capital from January 1. The formula will first be tried till January 15 and will be extended after an assessment.