The Supreme Court on Saturday asked the Delhi government why pollution levels in the capital remained the same despite the odd-even scheme and a ban on the entry of trucks. After saying it might lift the temporary ban on the registration of diesel cars in Delhi, it posted the matter to May 9. The court was hearing a plea filed by automakers such as Mahindra and Mahindra, Mercedes, Toyota, and General Motors, which sought to have the ban on registration of high-end diesel cars with an engine capacity of 2,000 cc lifted in the national capital region.
On December 16, the apex court had banned the registration of new luxury diesel cars and SUVs with engine capacity of more than 2,000 cc till March 31. It also ordered all taxis in the National Capital Region to switch to compressed natural gas and doubled the environmental cess levied on commercial vehicles entering Delhi. The court told car manufacturers that the ban will continue if they oppose the proposed tax. From Sunday, diesel-run taxis will not be allowed to ply on Delhi roads.
However, the restriction did not apply to high-security vehicles belonging to the Special Protection Group. The court on Friday allowed Delhi Police to purchase 190 special diesel vehicles for VVIPs and high security under-trial prisoners and to carry out their law and order duties, to tow heavy vehicles and patrol. As stipulated earlier, Delhi Police will pay 30% of the vehicle’s price as environmental compensation.