ALSO READCourts should take pragmatic view of rights of consumers: SC Collective effort required to clear up polluted air: SC SC raps states for lax approach towards disaster management SC asks Centre, states to implement order on prison reforms Standards for emissions by industries: SC gives govt 3 months
Concerned over rising vehicular pollution, the Supreme Court today issued a slew of directions that included non-renewal of insurance policy of vehicles unless the owner provides pollution under control (PUC) certificate to the insurance firms. A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta took note of the fact that some fuel refilling outlets in the National Capital Region (NCR) did not have the PUC centres. It asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, to ensure within four weeks that all fuel refilling centres in NCR have a functional PUC centre. The Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) has suggested strengthening inspection of PUC centres for quality control and introduce well-equipped mobile test centres and a programme to check visibly polluting vehicles. Taking note of the suggestions, mooted by EPCA through amicus curiae Aprajita Singh, the bench asked the Centre to implement most of these as these would help in curbing pollution. Singh alleged that almost 96 per cent vehicles clear pollution tests at PUC centres and either the machines required re-calibration or there was something wrong with the way such centres are functioning. EPCA has sought to enforce penalty for PUC centres for non-compliance and malpractices. The court also asked the Centre to consider creating a national database of vehicles to monitor as to whether they are complaint to emission norms. The apex court had earlier granted three months time to the Centre to come out with standards for emissions by industries in the National Capital Region (NCR) to bring down the level of air pollutants. The apex court had in May directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare standards for emissions by industries in the NCR to curb level of air pollutants. It had asked CPCB to prepare the standards for emissions by June 30, which should be followed by industries by December end. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by environmentalist M C Mehta way back in 1985 dealing with various aspects of pollution.