The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a ban on registration of new diesel vehicles and vehicles beyond an engine capacity of 2000 cc in Delhi NCR region till 31 March 2016. The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur laid down a number of guidelines so that air pollution can be curbed in Delhi.

The bench, while restricting the entry on commercial vehicle that are not Delhi-bound, ordered doubling of the Environment Compensation Charge levied on light duty vehicles and heavy vehicles/SUV.

The bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and R. Banumathi ruled that commercial vehicles that were registered prior to 2005, will not be allowed entry into the capital.

In a 9 October order this year, the court had ruled that light duty vehicles that will have to pay Rs 700 as ECC and three axle vehicles will have to pay Rs 1400 to enter Delhi. The order was to be implemented from 1 November this year and was aimed at curbing high air pollution levels in the city.

The ECC has now been doubled to Rs 1400 and Rs 2600 for light duty vehicles and heavy vehicles/SUVs for entering Delhi.

The court held that commercial vehicles that are not Delhi-bound will not be allowed to enter Delhi through NH8 and NH1.The bench ruled that after 31 March only CNG-run cabs and taxis will be allowed in Delhi.

The bench clarified that the order that banned registration of diesel run vehicles, that is set to be operational from 1 Jan 2016 to 31 March 2016 will not include passenger cars below 2000 cc.

The bench agreed with the submissions of senior advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting it in a 1984 PIL, filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta, that diesel vehicles are the bigger culprit in polluting Delhi air.

It also asked authorities to strictly impose restrictions on burning of municipal waste and construction activities.

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