SC for Rs 50,000 daily fine on polluting builders

SC for Rs 50,000 daily fine on polluting builders

The Supreme Court on Thursday favoured imposing a daily fine of Rs 50,000 on construction sites causing dust pollution in the national capital region, while it  monitored compliance with its directions to bring down pollution.

A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi directed Uttar Pradesh government to report the steps taken to ensure diversion of heavy commercial vehicles from National Highway (NH) 58 and State Highway 57, connecting Delhi from Ghaziabad and Saharanpur respectively.

The court pulled up the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) after being told that the directions for using alternative routes for diversion of heavy commercial vehicles from NH 1 and 8 were not fully implemented. “Are you saying no highway is ready, so you will not be in a position to divert? You had16 days since we passed our direction on January 5. Why didn't you do it,” the bench asked the NHAI counsel, who submitted that a decision would be taken in its proposed meeting on January 23.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Union Government, submitted that 104 less polluting CNG fuel stations would be ready by March 31 in Delhi but people were not coming forward to use it and only about 30 per cent of the existing capacity was being utilised. He also submitted that the Centre had already transferred three out of seven land sites demanded by the Delhi government for bus shelters. The Delhi government has to take a call on one more site, while three others are mired in litigation.

The court, however, asked the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to examine the feasibility of advancing the date of implementation of more stringent Bharat Stage VI emission norms for automakers from April 2020. The Delhi government, represented by advocate Rahul Mehra, submitted it was phasing out its 10-year-old diesel vehicles.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, however, sought relaxation of the ban on registration of above 2000 cc cars for the Special Protection Group (SPG) employed in the security of the Prime Minister, former PMs and their family members. The court asked amicus curiae senior advocate Harish Salve to look into the issue.

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