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India, choking on pollution, restricts vehicle use in New Delhi

It has immediate effect and will be in effect until March 31, 2016 in Delhi and the surrounding region.

SC favours levy of ECC on commercial vehicles criss-crossing Delhi.

The bench therefore ordered that no vehicle that is not bound for Delhi will be allowed to enter from NH-8, that links Jaipur to Delhi, and NH-1, linking Punjab, Haryana and other northern states to Delhi via the Kundli border.

This very court had on October 12 ordered the light duty vehicles to pay Rs 700 and three-axle vehicles Rs 1,300 for entering Delhi in addition to the toll tax from November 1 as ECC.

The court barred diesel trucks older than 10 years from entering the gridlocked capital, and banned the burning of rubbish because the toxic atmosphere reduced visibility and made breathing hard.

The judges noted that diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2,000 cc and above are prone to causing higher pollution level and were used by the more affluent.

With the Supreme Court’s latest directives, the judiciary appears to have taken a firm stand on reducing air pollution in the city, notorious for being the most polluted city in the world. “There can not be anything more fundamental than the right to clean air and what the court has recognised today…”

Germany-based luxury auto maker, Mercedes-Benz said on Wednesday that the company is hit hard by the Supreme Court ban on registration of vehicles above 2,000 cc, this move will impact its planned future investments in India and it may also lead to job losses.

Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said, “People’s life is at stake and you are interested in selling cars”.

This year in New Delhi, Indian environment monitoring authorities have found record levels of the tiny, inhalable particles that are measured to indicate pollution levels.

Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, said on Twitter his company would honour the court’s decision. The ruling came two weeks before the Delhi government’s radical 15-day odd-even experiment to regulate the number of cars on city roads begins on January 1.

Jagdish Khattar, Former MD, Maruti Udyog Limited, while talking about the ban on #DieselSUVBan, said that the govt should first handle cars that are plying on the road.

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