The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre, Delhi government and municipal corporations to prepare a plan within three days for preventing trucks from entering Delhi.
Over 50,000 trucks pass through the Capital every night releasing high levels of particulate matter including carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and metal compounds. Delhi has earned the dubious distinction of the most polluted city in the world.
According to Environment Protection (Pollution and Control) Authority, the daily average number of light and heavy goods vehicles that enter and exit the city is 85,799. The total number of commercial light and heavy duty trucks is 1,15,945 each day.
According to The Times of India report, the green bench comprising Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices Arun Mishra and Adarsh K Goel was in agreement with amicus curiae Harish Salve, who moved the application informing the court that 52,146 commercial vehicles (excluding taxis) entered Delhi every night using it as a transit route mainly to save the toll they would have to pay on alternative highways.
Salve also proposed an entry fee of Rs 1,200 for big trucks and Rs 600 for every small commer cial vehicle, and said it will straightaway stop at least 10,000 trucks from entering Delhi.
The report adds that Environment Protection (Pollution and Control) Authority through advocate Aparajita Singh presented a grim picture of the trucks and said between May 16 and June 31, a mere 0.1% trucks using Delhi as a transit route were turned back. It added that another reason for trucks using Delhi roads to go to other states was the non-completion of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways.
The high level of pollution causes huge financial burden on the Centre and the Delhi government in taking measures to maintain ambient air quality and provide healthcare to citizens.