The Supreme Court (SC) of India on 12 October 2015 imposed an Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) on commercial vehicles entering Delhi, in addition to the toll tax. The court also directed the Delhi government to issue appropriate notification in this regard.
This ECC will be enforced for four months on a trial or experimental basis from 1 November 2015 and will end on 29 February 2016. The charges would be payable at the rate of 700 rupees for light duty vehicles and two-axle vehicles and would be 1300 rupees for three-axle and above.
This trial exercise will be held in a bid to check high pollution levels in New Delhi and to equalize the difference in cost in travelling through alternative routes.
The three-judge SC bench said that passenger buses, vehicles carrying essential commodities, food articles and ambulances would be exempted from paying the environment compensation charge.
Beside this, the SC bench comprised of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also nullified the 7 October 2105 order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the same issue. It made it clear that this order will override any order to the contrary by any authority.
To review the mechanism, the bench posted the matter for further consideration in the third week of February 2016.
The bench also said that the charge collected by the toll operators without any deduction will be handed over to the Delhi Government on every Friday. Further, the Delhi Government will have to furnish accounts of the receipts and the expenditure incurred to the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority and to this Court each quarter.
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