SC bans new SUVs in Delhi till March 31

Apex court bars cars with 2000 cc engines

SC bans new SUVs in Delhi till March 31

In a bid to clean Delhi’s air, the Supreme Court on Wednesday banned registration of Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and high-end cars with 2000 cc and above engine till March 31, across the National Capital Region (NCR).

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur announced a series of measures, including prohibition on entry of transport vehicles not bound for Delhi, ban on burning of waste and regulating construction activities, in an effort to salvage the situation.

As indicated on Tuesday, the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, passed the order also directing for conversion of all taxis, including those run by Ola and Uber in the NCR, into CNG fuel before March 1 and diversion of heavy vehicles via alternative routes. The NCR includes Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad.

To discourage heavy vehicles trying to enter Delhi on pretext of carrying goods, the bench also doubled up the pollution charges from Rs 700 to Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,300 to Rs 2,600 depending on the size of the trucks. Dealing with a plea made by amicus curiae senior advocate Harish Salve, the court said: “It is noteworthy that diesel vehicles of 2000 cc and above and SUVs are generally used by more affluent sections of our society and because of the higher engine capacity are more prone to cause higher levels of pollution. A ban on registration of such vehicles (till March 31, 2016) will not therefore affect the common man or the average citizen in the city of Delhi.”

The court also directed municipal bodies and other institutions that are generating solid waste to take steps to ensure that no part of such waste is burnt and that proper arrangements are made for disposal of such waste in a scientific way without causing any hazard to the environment.

Noting the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) ordered on October 9 has resulted in some diversion of vehicles, the court agreed to the suggestion made in a PIL filed by environment activist M C Mehta that large number of vehicles entering Delhi from Jaipur, Punjab, Haryana and other northern states should not be allowed entry at all.

“We accordingly direct that traffic from these two entry points viz Kundli border on NH-1 and Rajokri on NH-8, shall be diverted to bypass Delhi through such alternative routes as the transport/traffic departments concerned may stipulate,” the bench said.

The court also directed different state governments and Union Territories to ensure that vehicles bearing registration numbers of the year 2005 or earlier do not enter Delhi.

The bench also directed the Delhi government to take immediate steps for repair of pavements to control dust and take immediate steps for procurement of the requisite vacuum cleaning vehicles for use on Delhi roads expeditiously but not later than April 1.

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