Supreme Court order flouted, trucks entering Delhi not paying ‘Green Tax’

Authorities in the Delhi have not complied with a Supreme Court order to begin collecting environment compensation from commercial vehicles entering the city. The apex court had directed the authorities to impose an additional green tax on all forms of commercial vehicles, which enter the nation’s capital from November 1.

A team of experts and officials camped at Delhi’s borders with Gurgaon for a surprise inspection. To their dismay, they found that no efforts were made to enforce Supreme Court orders. The Supreme Court had enforced a green tax of Rs. 700 and Rs. 1300 on all commercial vehicles that enter the city.

Bhure Lal, chairperson of the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority tried in vain to convince the toll plaza in-charge to follow the court’s order.

Toll Officer Dinesh Sharma explained his inability to force commercial vehicles to pay the environment cess as he has no authority. The Private firm that has been authorized to collect tax for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has blankly refused to collect the additional green tax.

Noted environmentalist and a member of the court’s green panel Sunita Narain, has termed this action as outright contempt of court. It has been learnt that Delhi’s Transport Secretary, Parimal Rai is arriving at the spot with a posse of police officers to ascertain why the cess is not being collected.

A livid Sunita Narain said, the argument that enforcing the green tax will lead to a reduction of the toll is not correct. Does the Delhi government want more trucks to come and spread pollution?

The measure was taken to reduce the number of commercial vehicles coming into the city and reduce the pollution levels. The next Supreme Court hearing is scheduled for November 16, and various stakeholders will be meeting on Wednesday to find a way out of this impasse.

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