SC seeks Delhi's response on increasing auto permits
The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Delhi government's response on a plea by Bajaj Auto to remove the cap on the number of three-wheelers permits issued in the city.
The counsel for Bajaj contended before the court that the cap - restriction on registration - on the three-wheelers in Delhi should be removed, as after installing CNG as an alternate fuel, these vehicles are no longer polluting.
The cap was set by the top court through its order in 1997, as the three-wheeler technology then was two-stroke and heavily polluting.
The counsel argued that this cap is no longer applicable to the current three-wheelers, which comply with BS IV norms and are CNG-fuelled.
In February, the court had asked the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) to examine the issue of increasing the three-wheelers permits, and file a report.
The EPCA argued against the cap, stating that it has led to a high transaction cost, which, in turn, pushed this vehicle segment into the hands of financiers and auto unions. This eventually created problem in managing the fleet, and as a consequence, an increase in pollution level, and depleting customer service, it said.
"It is clear that 3-wheelers are an integral part of the regions public transport system. These vehicles provide affordable shared mobility and last-mile connectivity. Today, it is clear that the lack of affordable shared mobility vehicles adds to the number of private vehicles - cars or two-wheelers," said the EPCA report.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, after hearing the arguments, asked the Delhi government to furnish its reply within two weeks.
According to the EPCA, there are 3,00,000 registered 3-wheelers across the NCR, including Delhi, of which 84,000 3-wheelers are diesel and 54,000 are fuelled by CNG only and the rest are petrol or duel-fuel (CNG-petrol) IANS