New Delhi: In another directive to clean up the polluted air in the capital, Supreme Court on Tuesday came out with harsh measures including specifying four more entry points through which no heavy commercial vehicle, unless bound for Delhi, will be allowed entry.
"We are not concerned with any other aspect. We are only concerned with the environment," the bench said, ordering, "we direct that no heavy commercial vehicles, except those which are bound for Delhi, shall be allowed to enter through entry points at National Highway 2, 10, 58 and State Highway 57."
The fresh prohibition will restrict heavy traffic inflow in Delhi from Faridabad, Palwal, Ghaziabad and Baghpat.
The court, on 16 December, had restricted the entry of commercial vehicles into Delhi from NH-8 which connects Jaipur to Delhi and NH-1 that connects the states of Punjab, Haryana and other northern States to Delhi via Kundli border.
The bench directed the Centre, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, National Highways Authority of India and MCD to implement its directions and ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the public. It also sought a report in three weeks.
Refusing to change its order asking all NCR taxis to convert to CNG by 31 March, the bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi sought response from the Centre as to whether it can leapfrog by replacing the existing Bharat Stage (BS)-IV emission norms by BS-VI straightaway by 2017.
It also said that BS-VI will bring the country under the ambit of the tighter pollution control standard.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, representing the Centre, said it would be difficult as it would need upgradation of refineries and moreover, the government has decided to implement BS-IV emission norms in the entire country from April 2017.
The bench clarified that its earlier order banning registration of diesel vehicles would not come in the way of issuing no-objection certificates for 10-year-old diesel vehicles for the purpose of owners to sell them outside the NCR region and the same would apply for over 15-year-old petrol vehicles as well.
The court also sought to know if Delhi Metro could increase the frequency of its trains by reducing the time gap to one-and-half minutes instead of the existing gap of 3-4 minutes to encourage people to leave their cars and opt for the Metro trains for a pollution-free Delhi.
The court also sought to know if there could be a special arrangement whereby affluent sections of people, who opt to travel by Metro leaving behind their luxury cars, were assured a seat by paying five times the normal fare.