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Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 27, 2012
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre to levy an annual "environment compensation charge" on existing private cars in the national capital region (NCR) due to rising air pollution.

The SC order came after senior advocate Harish Salve filed an application that also seeks to impose a similar charge on new private diesel cars to be paid to dealers at the time of purchase.

Issuing the notice, the bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam said it would hear the matter again in January 2013.

Citing Delhi Pollution Control Committee data to show an increase in pollution levels in the capital, Salve suggested levying an annual environment compensation of 2% of the purchase value on petrol cars, 4% on diesel and 25% of the sale value of a new diesel car.

Notice was also issued on Salve's second application where he had drawn SC's attention to the slow progress of the construction of eastern and western expressways.

Delay in carrying out SC's 2004 order was considerably impacting Delhi's ambient air quality, Salve contended.

The SC has in the past banned all diesel-run commercial vehicles and ordered all such vehicles to switch over to CNG.