Green panel directs commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental tax


Acting tough to curb pollution in the national capital, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed all commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental compensation charge in addition to the toll tax.

The green panel ordered that the compensation would be payable at the rates of Rs. 700 for two-axle vehicles, Rs. 1,000 for three-axle and Rs. 500 for four-axle and above.

"It is a conceded position before us that vehicular pollution is one of the main sources of inferior quality of air in Delhi.... Nearly 66,000 heavy commercial vehicles enter Delhi daily. It is stated before us that low toll tax is an incentive for heavy vehicles to pass through Delhi rather than taking alternate route which will reduce pollution... It will be in our considered view, appropriate to direct the check posts to charge transport heavy vehicles entering Delhi as their final destination or enroute to other places entering from Sonipat to pay environmental compensation in addition to toll tax payable," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The bench noted that the charges payable by heavy vehicles at toll tax in Delhi was Rs. 600 while in Haryana it varied from Rs. 930 to Rs. 1,550 depending on the kind of trucks entering the state.

The bench also made it clear that all vehicles destined for places other than Delhi shall be diverted at Panipat to take alternate route via NH-71A and NH-71 and exit at Bawal in Haryana.

"The trucks which are not destined to Delhi and have not taken alternate route would not be permitted to enter the capital and would be returned to Panipat to take alternate route," the Tribunal said.

It also directed that the additional amount collected in form of environment compensation by the check posts would be paid to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) which will maintain a separate account.

"The collected amount would be used for improving the ambient air quality of the capital," the bench said. It also directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and DPCC to purchase or arrange instruments for checking emission of moving overloaded heavy vehicles.