SC imposes green levy on trucks entering Delhi

SC imposes green levy on trucks entering Delhi
Commercial vehicles entering Delhi would have to pay an environment compensatory charge, the Supreme Court ordered on Monday.

A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu ruled all commercial vehicles not bound for the capital yet passing through it would pay the fee. The bench justified the charge, saying it was necessary to equalise the difference in cost in travelling on alternative routes.

The National Green Tribunal had issued a similar order on October 7.

The latest Supreme Court order will be on an experimental basis for four months. It will likely exempt passenger vehicles, those carrying food and essential items like oil.

The court also passed tough rules for toll collection. It ordered toll collectors to put in place radio frequency identification systems at the nine main entry points in the city by November 30. For the remaining 118 entry points, January 31 will be the last date.

The Delhi government will install its own cameras at the nine entry points and organise surprise visits to oversee collection of the charge and other necessary arrangements.

Salve had earlier pointed out that the court had directed Delhi's three neighbouring states in 2003 to construct eastern and western peripheral expressways to divert traffic, but the projects were stalled by land acquisition.

The order is based on a report prepared by the Environment Pollution Prevention and Control Authority(EPCA). The report mentions a study by the Centre for Science and Environment which recently claimed the number of trucks entering the capital was 70 per cent more than the official estimate.

The charge will be collected by toll operators without any deduction and handed over to the Delhi government every Friday. The Delhi government shall furnish accounts of the receipts and the expenditure incurred to the EPCA and to the court each quarter.

The order sought large billboards near the city's entry points to divert traffic to alternative routes. The neighbouring states shall advertise the introduction of the compensation charge and show alternative routes to trucks approaching Delhi.

The National Green Tribunal had ruled all vehicles destined for places other than Delhi be diverted at Panipat via NH-71A and NH-71 and exit at Bawal in Haryana.

The Supreme Court allowed state governments to approach it for modifications of the order after the experiment ended.

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  • Commercial vehicles entering Delhi would have to pay an environment compensatory charge
  • All commercial vehicles not bound for the capital yet passing through it would pay the fee, the bench ruled
  • The latest Supreme Court order would likely exempt passenger vehicles, those carrying food and essential items like oil
  • The charge will be collected by toll operators without any deduction and handed over to the Delhi government every Friday
  • The Delhi government shall furnish accounts of the receipts and the expenditure incurred to the EPCA and to the court each quarter
  • The order sought large billboards near the city's entry points to divert traffic to alternative routes

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