Millennium Post

15-yr old petrol, 10-yr old diesel vehicles can't ply in NCR: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the national capital region (NCR) and directed the transport department to announce that such cars would be impounded if found plying.

Terming the air quality of Delhi as "critical, pitiable and terrible", the Supreme Court Monday directed that a list of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles be published on the website of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and transport department.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta said that advertisement on this should also be published in the newspapers.

The bench directed the CPCB to immediately create a social media account on which citizens could lodge their complaints directly about pollution on which appropriate action could be taken by the authorities concerned.

It permitted the court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to take pre-emptive steps under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) without strict adherence to pollution stages delineated in the plan.

GRAP is aimed at tackling air pollution in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas, and it is designed to take urgent remedial action when air quality deteriorates.

The apex court passed these directions on a note placed before it by advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, seeking urgent directions to correct the prevailing situation of pollution.

Earlier, the National Green Tribunal had also banned the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR.

The apex court had rejected a plea against the NGT's order banning plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles on Delhi roads.

Delhi's air quality continued to remain in the "very poor" category Monday, with an overall Air Quality Index of 348, as a thick haze engulfed the city.

The Central Pollution Control Board has warned that the situation will only worsen in the weeks to come.

Another area of concern for the authorities is polluting firecrackers, which continue to be sold despite a Supreme Court order allowing only those with green certification. However, there is a lack of clarity among traders in this regard.

The Delhi Police, however, assured that everything is on track for the upcoming festive season as far as enforcement is concerned. "Delhi Police has already enforced the new regulations on permanent firecracker outlets. We will ensure that temporary shops do not sell illegal firecrackers once the government starts granting licences," said Delhi Police public relations officer Madhur Verma.

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