Supreme Court-appointed panel on air pollution passed an order that from 16th August 2019 commercial vehicles not carrying radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags will have to pay fines to enter the national capital from all the 13 major high-tech toll plazas in the city. Commercial cabs, vehicles without tags will have to pay Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) in the first week of the program which will gradually ascend charges in second and third week of program.
The RFID-enabled toll booths electronically deduct ECC and municipal toll tax from the e-wallets of vehicles as they pass through toll plazas. The 13 toll plazas include Kundli, Rajokri, Tikri, Aya Nagar, Kalindi Kunj, Kapashera, Shahdara (Main), Shahdara (Flyover), Ghazipur (Main), Ghazipur (Old), DND Flyway, Badarpur-Faridabad (Main) and Badarpur-Faridabad (Flyover).
Regarding the application of the program, SC appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority [EPCA] on 13th August 2019. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) – the nodal agency executing the project has its prime focus to ensure that all the 13 RFID toll plaza would be fully open by then. According to a report in Hindustan Times, EPCA member Sunita Narian said, “The enforcement agencies will have to be present on ground for monitoring. SDMC has been directed to bring out an advertisement in this regard by Wednesday.” NCPA arranged a meeting with trucker’s bodies, appealing them to go cashless for smooth functioning of the program.
On the Hindustan Times report, All India Motor Transport Congress, Chairman K S Atwal mentioned, “So far we have no clue about any penalty to be imposed. At least 70% heavy duty vehicles still don’t have the tags. We need more time to switch to this system from the manual system. Also, the automatic system will mean that we will have to pay ECC even on items that are exempted from it. We are not clear about the new system and we need at least a month’s time.”
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