New Delhi: Vehicles can ply on the roads irrespective of their age if they satisfy prescribed norms and standards, the Centre today told the Supreme Court.
"Even though, the central government is empowered to fix the age limit of vehicles under Section 59 of the Motor Vehicle Act, no policy decision fixing age limit of the vehicles has been taken by the Centre," the Centre told a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir.
In the affidavit, filed in compliance of the apex court, the government contended that several steps are being taken by it to enhance road safety and to decongest traffic on roads.
The response was filed in PIL by a Agra resident Sanjay Kulshrestra, seeking the apex court`s direction on framing guidelines for decongestion of roads and removing old vehicles from plying.
"Guidelines be formulated for the decongestion of roads in order by curb number of personal vehicles," he pleaded, adding that around 5.2 lakh people are dying because of air pollution.
"Urban air pollution is costing around five per cent of Gross Domestic Product and around 5,27,700 people are dying because of the pollution," Kulshrestra, a doctor by profession, submitted in his petition.
"Pedestrians are losing their rights to clean and safe roads as there has been huge increase in the number of traffic," he said in his petition, adding that there were around 14.5 crore motorised vehicles on roads up to March 11 2011.
The Centre in its reply said that it had expanded the national highway network and it is now 79,116 km which was only 22,193 in 1956.