SC orders cess on trucks entering Delhi

SC orders cess on trucks entering Delhi

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered imposing of Rs 700 to Rs 1,300 “environment compensation charge” (ECC) on commercial vehicles entering Delhi in order to check growing air pollution in the national capital.

A three-judge bench presided over by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) gave its order, accepting the suggestions made by amicus curiae Harish Salve, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and Delhi government’s counsel senior advocate Dushyant Dave.

The counsel had urged the court to impose the tax, apart from the MCD toll, to equalise the difference in cost, which those light and heavy commercial vehicles sought to save while avoiding alternative routes. The passenger vehicles, ambulances and vehicles carrying essential commodities like, food stuffs and oil tankers were spared of the charges, the court said.

“It has been pointed out that even though alternative routes are available for such traffic, only reason for such traffic entering Delhi is to save higher rate of toll tax in taking alternative routes. In the process, pollution caused by such traffic inflicts heavy cost on the health of the residents of Delhi,” the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh K Goel, noted.


The court ordered the Delhi government to issue notification for additional tax which would be operative for a period of four months on experimental basis from November 1.
It also directed the NCT government to install its own CCTV cameras at nine entry points to Delhi and also organise surprise visits to oversee the collection of ECC and other necessary arrangements.

The court based its order on a report by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control)) Authority (EPCA) stating that the study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment showed that the commercial vehicles entering Delhi spew close to 30 per cent of the total particulate load and 22 per cent of the total nitrogen oxide load from the transport sector.

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