New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday added four more entry points on three national highways and one state highway to restrict commercial vehicles' entry into the city while also banning heavy commercial vehicles not bound for the national capital.
The four new entry points from where the commercial vehicles intp Delhi would be restricted are located on the national highway numbers 2, 10 and 58 and state highway number 57.
The commercial vehicles on these four highways which are not Delhi bound would now have to take alternate route to bypass Delhi.
With this, the total number of entry points on which heavy commercial traffic not bound for Delhi would be barred come to six.
The apex court by its December 16 order had said that the traffic from Kundli border on N.H.-1 and Rajokri on N.H.-8, would be diverted to bypass Delhi.
"No heavy commercial vehicle would be allowed to enter Delhi except for those bound for Delhi," the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi said, adding that weighing bridges would be put up to weigh the heavy commercial vehicles which are "invariably overloaded".
The court observed that it was necessary to check overloaded heavy vehicles as it concerned the safety of the roads in Delhi so that these are not damaged.
The court order banning non-Delhi bound vehicles came as it was told that since its December 16 order,which saw 100 percent increase in environment compensation charge (ECC), nearly 20 percent vehicles have been diverted but 80 percent were still coming to Delhi.
"Does it mean that 80 percent commercial vehicles are coming to Delhi?" the court asked with amicus curiae Harish Salve telling the court: "They are paying and coming".
In a series of orders addressing different dimensions contributing to the alarming level of air pollution in Delhi, the court said all the taxis operating in the national capital region would switch over to CNG by March 31, 2016.
The court said this modifying its earlier order that restricted taxis in the national capital territory (NCT) with compliance date of March 1.
The court said it has not passed any order impeding the Delhi government from issuing no-objection certificate to the owners of diesel vehicles which are ten years old or more to sell them in other States.
These vehicles cannot ply in Delhi after December 16 order of the apex court banning their use in the city.
Salve told the court that Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has only 5,500 buses and that was way short of actual requirement of 15,000 buses at present. The court was also told that new buses are not being added as there is a problem with depots and the parking space.
The court was told that the DTC needed five-acre depot to park 100 buses and to park 10,000 buses it needed a depot space of 500 acres.
The court was also told that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has allotted 45 acres of land but possession has yet to be given. At this, the court asked the Solicitor General to look into the matter.
The court also passed orders for setting up 104 CNG filling stations in the national capital region (NCR) and advancing the date of making Bharat IV emission compliance fuel all over the country.
While Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said that Bharat IV emission compliance fuel would be available all over the country by April 1, 2017, the court asked him to advance the date to 2016.
The court will hold further hearing on January 20.