NGT directed commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay Pollution Tax in addition to toll

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Who: Pollution Tax on Commercial vehicles entering Delhi
What: Imposed by National Green Tribunal (NGT)
When: 7 October 2015

National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 7 October 2015 directed all commercial vehicles, including trucks, entering Delhi to pay an environmental compensation charge in addition to the toll tax.

Now, the two-axle vehicles will have to pay 700 rupees, three-axle vehicles will have to pay 1000 rupees while four-axle vehicles will have to 500 rupees as an environmental tax charge. This tax is apart from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) toll already levied on them.

This amount collected in the form of environment compensation by the check posts would be paid to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which will maintain a separate account with an aim to improve air quality in Delhi.

The decision of levying the environmental charge on the commercial vehicles by the NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, who noted that there is no dispute over the fact that vehicular pollution is one of the main causes of air pollution in Delhi.

Apart from this, the court also made it clear that all vehicles destined for other places like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan other than Delhi should be diverted from Panipat at NH-71A and NH- 71 (Panipat-Rohtak-Jhajjar-Bawal) for the purpose.

These vehicles usually use Delhi as cheap transit point as the toll tax levied on the heavy vehicles in Delhi is 600 rupees while it varies from 930 rupees to 1550 rupees in Haryana, depending on the kind of trucks entering the state.

Besides, the NGT also asked the Joint Commissioners of Delhi and Haryana Police (Traffic) to deliberate on an alternate route from Gurgaon and Ghaziabad. It also directed the Haryana government and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to expedite the work on Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways to ease traffic congestion in the Capital.

World Health Organisation (WHO) study in May 2015 ranked Delhi as the most polluted city in the world among 1600 cities for levels of PM2.5 or particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns.