No new diesel vehicles of over 2000cc in Delhi till March 31: SC
The Supreme Court banned on Wednesday the registration of new diesel-guzzling luxury cars and SUVs with engine capacity of 2000 cc and above until March 31 in the national capital region, unveiling a raft of measures to clean up Delhi’s toxic air.
The ruling was one of several far-reaching judgments the Supreme Court delivered on governance issues even as political bickering over Tuesday’s CBI raid at Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s office dominated Parliament.
The court, however allowed plying of existing diesel cars during the ban period.
The apex court’s decision effectively stops the sale of several popular vehicle brands besides hurting luxury car-makers across the board as most of their best-sellers are diesel-driven.
An SC bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur also banned the entry of trucks registered before 2005 into the city and hiked up by 100% the Green cess levied on commercial vehicles entering Delhi.
Besides, any commercial vehicle not bound for Delhi will no longer be allowed to enter the city while all taxis and cab services -- Ola, Uber or otherwise -- will have to shift to CNG by March 31.
The top court’s rulings came a day after the chief justice noted that the rich cannot be allowed to pollute the Capital.
“Diesel vehicles of 2000 cc and above and SUVs are generally used by more affluent sections of our society and because of the higher engine capacity are more prone to cause higher levels of pollution. A ban on registration of such vehicles will not therefore affect the common man,” the bench said.
It, however, permitted registration of new commercial light duty diesel vehicles on the ground the public was dependent on them for supply of essentials.
The court said its directive will likely be reviewed in April next year when Euro 4-compliant diesel engines with improved emission standards are introduced. The bench made it clear that buyers would have to ultimately pay environment compensation cess (ECC) on the purchase of every diesel car with smaller engine capacity.
The order comes days after the Delhi government announced a radical road rationing formula -– to be implemented from January 1 -- wherein odd and even numbered cars will be kept off the roads on alternate days.
Delhi has 8.5 million vehicles — up 97% from 2000 — and adds 1,400 new cars to its streets every day, contributing to a hazardous blanket of smog that intensifies during the winter months, triggering a slew of respiratory and life-threatening diseases.
The Delhi government has already announced more measures to curb pollution — vacuum-cleaning of roads by April and phasing out two thermal power plants.
The court also asked the Centre to take a compassionate view towards the Delhi Police personnel manning the streets – especially the traffic constable – and provide them with masks so that they do not fall ill.
Taking a dig at the ongoing tussle between the two government’s over who controls Delhi Police, the court told the Delhi government and Centre’s counsel, “You should not fight over this, at least.”
Even though Mohali district rose by two spots from last year's ranking in the PSEB Class 10 exams, its pass percentage dropped from 99.91% to 99%. Last year, Mohali was placed 17th among the 23 districts. This year, it improved its standing to 15th, with Gurdaspur district bagging the top spot. As many as 9,401 students from 109 Mohali schools appeared in the exams and 9,307 passed.
A 32-year-old doctor allegedly ended his life by injecting himself with a paralytic drug used in anaesthesia at his rented accommodation in Phase 2 on Monday night. The doctor, who hailed from Rupnagar, was living alone in the rented house for the last three months and worked at a private hospital in Sector 34, Chandigarh. The autopsy will be conducted at the Phase-6 civil hospital on Wednesday.
A local court on Tuesday extended the judicial custody of Kalyani Singh, an accused in the murder of national-level shooter and lawyer Sukhmanpreet Singh, alias Sippy Sidhu. Lodged in Model Jail, Sector 51, since June 21, Kalyani, 36, was produced in court via video conferencing. On Monday, she had applied for bail before a local court. Her plea will be taken up for hearing on July 8.
The UT administration's decision to appoint 33 medical officers (MOs) on deputation from Punjab, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, and none from Haryana has not gone down well with the Haryana government. Highlighting its displeasure through a letter, the Haryana government has urged the UT administration to maintain the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana while filling up the vacant posts of MOs and dental surgeons. Till then, Haryana had not sent any panel of doctors.
In a major decision, the Panjab University senate on Tuesday approved the proposed fee hike in its teaching departments, regional centres and affiliated colleges for the 2022-23 session. A 5% increase in fee will be implemented for students of the ongoing batches. The fee hike, however, was met with opposition by some senators. The fee hikes over the past years have never gone down well with students.