‘Not ready to collect environment compensation’
The SMYR Consortium Ltd on Monday told the Supreme Court that saddling it with collecting environment compensation charge (ECC) from commercial vehicles entering Delhi was a “humongous” additional responsibility which it was not ready to assume.
SMYR collects toll on behalf of three of Delhi’s civic bodies at 125 entry points, except for Badarpur and Noida.
“As a commercial player, I am not ready to take over the obligation to collect the ECC. I don’t want to assume the humongous obligation,” counsel Shyam Divan told the bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Amitava Roy.
Seeking to exit from the responsibility of collecting ECC, Divan, appearing for petitioner SMYR, told the court: “You must, as a duty to justice, allow me to move out.”
Comparing the October 9 order to changing the goal post in a level playing field, Divan told the court: “I don’t want to assume the responsibility and wanted to opt out.”
Petitioner SMYR said this as it sought recall or modification of the October 9 court order asking it to collect ECC from commercial vehicles entering Delhi.
As SMYR sought to opt out, amicus curiae Harish Salve disputed “every word” said on behalf of the toll collecting company, saying it was under contractual obligation to implement all orders of the court.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, supported Salve by saying that there was a clause in the contract between SMYR and the municipal body that says the toll collector was obliged to carry out every order of the court. As the matter is likely to take some time to be argued, the court directed further hearing on November 27.
In an attempt to curb commercial vehicles contributing to the already alarming air pollution, the apex court on October 9 imposed an ECC of Rs 700 on light vehicles and two-axle trucks and Rs 1,300 on 3 and 4 axle trucks entering the capital.
The ECC has been imposed for four months on an experimental basis and would remain in force till February 29, 2016.