Kejri govt ready to keep tabs on polluting trucks

 The Delhi government Thursday told the Supreme Court that it was ready to check polluting trucks from entering the capital at 127 entry points after holding talks with Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments on a plea for making commercial vehicles pay for raising smoke emissions to an alarming level.

Expresing concern over the situation, a three-judge green bench presided over by Chief Justice H L Dattu agreed to consider the plea made by senior advocate and amicus curiae Harish Salve on Friday, as he said he would work out a “protocol” after discussing with
the counsel from adjoining states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Though the bench initially expressed its reservation over considering the issue in view of an order already passed by the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday for putting additional tax burden on polluting trucks, the court conceded to a request for deciding the issue following a request by the counsel representing the Centre and Delhi government.

Salve said, “The SC should pass order as somebody may go to High Court and get a stay raise issue of jurisidiction of the NGT. It has become everyday problem.”

“I have asked for a copy of the NGT order. We have the same concern. Let me have a look at the copy of the tribunal’s order,” the CJI said.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted that the commercial vehicles which carried no challan for delivery of goods in the city should not enter the capital.

He, however, said we have to work out modalities to make those vehicles pay as it was
easy for these trucks to enter Delhi.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Delhi government, urged the apex court to decide the issue while sharing the concern made by Salve.

“We are ready to put a check at 127 entry points,” he said.
“What about the huge traffic jams which may take place at these checkpoints?” said the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and A K Goel, while asking the counsel to look into such issues.

Senior advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani, appearing for the SC women lawyers’ association, submitted that it was on their petition that the NGT passed its order. She submitted alternative western and eastern corridors should be made functional to avoid pollution in the city.

Salve sought directions to the Centre, Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to ensure that “commercial vehicles entering the city of Delhi are required to pay a sum of not less than Rs 600 (for LCV and two-axle) and not less than Rs 1,200 (for three-axle and above). This should be imposed in addition to the toll charge imposed by the MCD.”

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