SC raps Delhi government over installation of RFID

SC raps Delhi government over installation of RFID

SC raps Delhi government over installation of RFID
Supreme Court today rapped Delhi government for its response that it would mull over suggestions to install radio-frequency identification device (RFID) to levy entry cess, along with toll tax, on commercial vehicles entering the national capital.

"We don't understand why you are not inclined to implement it. The whole world has the RFID system...Please tell them that they should be progressive and forward-looking and not be an obstructionist," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said while entrusting the execution of the project to South Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The apex court said green cess collected from commercial vehicles entering Delhi would be used for RFID installation at 13 entry points.

It asked the counsel appearing for the Delhi government to persuade his client to adopt the technology for levying the entry cess through installation of RFID.

"Let the system progress and change. We are in 21st century. Many countries have adopted the technology several years ago. In London, metro train is there for the last 100 years," the bench also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi observed.

When the bench inquired why RFID was not installed, the Delhi government said the transport department wanted to rethink about it.

The court then slammed the government for dragging its feet on the issue and asked whether it was advised by the toll contractors to rethink on RFID.

The remarks were made while accepting the August 10 report of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) which examined the feasibility of the RFID system for effective and credible levy and collection of the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC).

The bench allowed the ECC amount to be used for putting RFID at 13 places in Delhi and adjoining places.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter, said Rs 125 crore would be spread over five years for implementing the project and Rs 432 crore would be collected per annum.

The bench also directed the Delhi government to release within six weeks Rs 93 lakhs as fees to RITES for vetting the contract or tender documents for the project.

The apex court had last year imposed ECC on commercial vehicles entering Delhi in a bid to check high pollution levels in the city.

It had also directed the toll collectors to put in place RFID system at their own cost at nine main entry points "failing which the contractors will be treated as being in breach of their obligation.

"The RFID data will be supplied to the MCD and Transport Department of the Government of NCT Delhi. The NCT Government will install its own CCTV cameras at nine entry points and also organise surprise visits to oversee the collection of ECC and other necessary arrangements," the bench had said.

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