The Supreme Court today (Monday, October 29) banned plying of 15-year-old Petrol and 10-year-old Diesel vehicles in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR).

It also directed that the list of 15-year-old Petrol vehicles and 10-year-old Diesel vehicles be published on the website of transport department and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and, further, that the transport department announce that such vehicles would be impounded if found plying.

Hearing a petition raising concern on the pollution in the national capital, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer and Deepak Gupta also directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to create a social media account where citizens can complain regarding pollution in Delhi.

The SC bench said that advertisement on this should also be published in the newspapers. Taking note of news reports of severe air pollution, the bench said, “If you take a walk in the evening to the Old Delhi railway station, you will see poor people on cycle rickshaws. They have no option but to work outside to earn a living. Hundreds of people are earning their livelihood outside… how do you tell them? Will you tell them to kill themselves by working in all this pollution?”

It permitted the court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to take pre-emptive steps under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) without strict adherence to pollution stages delineated in the plan.

GRAP is aimed at tackling air pollution in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas and it is designed to take urgent remedial action when air quality deteriorates.

The apex court passed these directions on a note placed before it by advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, seeking urgent directions to correct the prevailing situation of pollution.

Earlier, the National Green Tribunal had also banned the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR. The apex court had rejected a plea against the NGT’s order banning plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles on Delhi roads.

The city has been grappling with air pollution compounded by vehicular emissions with substandard filtrations. On Monday, the air quality in Delhi has remained in the ‘very poor’ category with an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of 348.