The Supreme Court sought to complement Delhi’s ongoing odd-even scheme with a raft of orders and suggestions aimed at enhancing the capital’s existing transportation networks, as well as placing restrictions on diesel vehicles with an engine capacity of 2000cc and above on Tuesday.
The SC suggested that the Delhi Metropolitan Railway Corporation (DMRC) provide special seats for those who eschewed travelling in luxury vehicles in favour of using the Metro during the odd-even rule trial, which is scheduled to end on January 15. Further suggestions included asking the DMRC to increase the frequency of its services by reducing waiting times for trains, as well as seeking a report from the Centre on why the DDA had not yet handed over land to the AAP government for use of the city’s bus fleet.
The SC mooted the idea of having weigh bridges to restrict the entry of overladen trucks as well as banning heavy commercial vehicles from using the NH-10, NH-2, NH-58 and state highway-57, which connects Ghaziabad to Baghpat.
Diesel vehicle restrictions
By far the biggest changes made by the Supreme Court during its Tuesday session were its orders on diesel vehicles; not only were all government agencies and departments ordered to phase out their existing diesel cars, but those purchasing cars with smaller engines than 2000cc would have to pay a one-time environment cess fee.
All taxis in the Delhi-NCR region were also ordered to convert to CNG by March 31.
The Delhi government was asked by the SC to issue no objection certificate to owners who sought to sell their vehicles outside of Delhi, provided that they were at least 10 years old in the case of diesel engines, and 15 for petrol vehicles. The National Green Tribunal and earlier prevented the government from issues NOCs for the sale of these vehicles.
The plea of car manufacturers to lift the restriction on 2000cc and above capacity engines will be taken up on January 20.