The Supreme Court extended on Thursday a ban on the registration of diesel cars with engine capacity over 2000 cc in the national capital region and indicated imposing a one-time cess on their purchase in a bid to clean up Delhi’s toxic air.
The top court also extended by a month the March 31 deadline for private taxi operators in NCR to switch to CNG from diesel.
On December 16, the SC had banned the registration of new diesel-guzzling luxury cars and SUVs with engine capacity of over 2000 cc until March 31.
On Thursday, the court told car manufacturers that the ban will continue if they opposed a proposed pollution cess.
It had also banned the entry of large commercial vehicles such as trucks into Delhi and imposed a cess.
The court was told on Thursday that around 400,000 trucks had been diverted from Delhi and Rs 152 crore collected as cess with the order helping in bringing down pollution in the city.
The court, however, exempted high-security vehicles belonging to the Special Protection Group from the diesel registration ban, but said 30% of the vehicle’s price will have to be paid as compensation.
The ban is part of a raft of judicial measures undertaken to clean up Delhi’s air that is among the filthiest in the world.
The extension diesel-to-CNG conversion deadline may bring relief to millions of commuters across the NCR, especially those using cab-hailing apps such as Ola and Uber, allaying widespread fears of diesel taxis disappearing from roads overnight.