The Supreme Court on October 29, 2018 prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR (national capital region) in a move to deal with the prevailing "very critical" and "horrible" pollution situation in Delhi-NCR.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta also clarified that such vehicles would be seized, if found on roads in Delhi-NCR.
• The apex court directed that a list of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles will be published on the website of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and transport departments of the NCR area.
• The bench directed the CPCB to immediately create a social media account on which citizens could lodge their complaint about pollution directly, which will be acted upon by the task force responsible for implementation of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).
• It said a "meaningful advertisement" shall be published in a local newspaper for convenience of the owners of these vehicles.
• It permitted the court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to take preventive measures under the Graded Response Action Plan without strict adherence to pollution stages defined in the plan.
• The Transport Departments of NCR will immediately announce that all the diesel vehicles more than 10 years old and petrol vehicles more than 15 years old shall not ply in NCR in terms of the order of the National Green Tribunal dated April 7, 2015 that was challenged in the court and the civil appeal was dismissed.
Graded Response Action Plan
The Graded Response Action Plan is aimed at tackling air pollution in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas and it is designed to take urgent corrective action, when air quality declines.
First of its kind, the Plan envisages to roll out a host of emergency measures like the closure of power plants and schools. It also includes issue of advisories asking people to avoid polluted areas and restrict outdoor movement.
Directions came on a note placed by advocate Aparajita Singh
• The apex court passed these directions on a note placed before it by advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, seeking urgent directions to correct the prevailing situation of pollution.
• Singh told the bench that currently, the air quality level in Delhi-NCR is under "very poor" level and citizens in the national capital are facing health emergency due to pollution. Only farmers cannot be blamed for pollution due to crop burning. As per the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, pollution load from transport was around 41 percent in the NCR.
• She suggested for the creation of accounts on Facebook or Twitter so that citizens can lodge complaints about pollution.
NGT order dated April 7, 2015
National Green Tribunal (NGT) on April 7, 2015 banned plying of 15-year-old petrol, 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi-NCR.
It asked the governments and concerned agencies to ensure within 20 hours that all entry points have units to check pollution levels, weight and age of vehicle. The ruling was given by a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar.
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