In the wake of the Supreme Court ban on registration of diesel cars and SUVs of engine capacity of 2,000cc above in the capital and NCR, major carmakers of the country, including Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra, Toyota and Mercedes got together on Wednesday to find a way forward.
A final decision wasn’t taken on the road map and the top executives of the companies have agreed to meet later this week on how to address the issue over environmental compensation cess (ECC) as directed by the Supreme Court, according to industry sources.
“The top officials of some passenger car companies had a closed door meeting to discuss how to tackle the ECC issue. They will be meeting later this week again to find a solution,” a source said.
While some manufacturers had come to the meeting with the idea of accepting an ECC and get the ban lifted, others pointed to the long-term implications of such a move in case of other cities too demanding such cess by banning diesel vehicles, another source added.
“The idea of today’s meeting was not to take a final decision of what we are going to do, but to hear out everyone present and what they best think is the way forward. We will continue to deliberate so that we can find a solution and report to the Supreme Court as directed,” another source said.
The apex court, in its hearing on March 31, had directed the companies to sit together and come out with the “propositions” so that some solutions could be arrived at by holding a full-fledged hearing on Saturdays, a non-working day for the apex court, to save some “judicial time”.
“Today’s meeting was as per the court directions,” a source said.
In December last year, the Supreme Court banned registration of diesel-run SUVs and cars having engine capacity beyond 2,000 cc in Delhi and NCR till March 31, as it unveiled a slew of measures to curb the alarming rise in pollution levels in the city.
On March 31 this year, the Supreme Court extended the ban till April 30.
Mercedes-Benz and Tata Motors-owned JLR are the worst hit due to the order as their entire diesel model range is powered by engines above 2,000 cc.