From August 16, 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, according to a Supreme Court-appointed panel on air pollution.
In the first week of the project, commercial vehicles without the tags will have to shell out twice the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) and the municipal toll tax, depending on the category of the vehicle. The penalty will then increase to four and six times in the second and third weeks, respectively.
The system is aimed at reducing traffic congestion at Delhi’s borders, which is expected to in turn help cut down air pollution mainly caused by vehicles running on diesel. The RFID-enabled toll booths electronically deduct ECC and municipal toll tax from the e-wallets of vehicles as they pass through toll plazas.
With around 70% vehicles yet to adopt the system, however, transport unions, said that they need more time to shift to the system.
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). Around 80%-to 85% of traffic enters Delhi from these toll points, according to an EPCA report.
The directions came from the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority [EPCA] on Tuesday. It ordered the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) – the nodal agency executing the project — to ensure that all the 13 RFID-enabled toll plazas were fully operational by then. 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.”
In preparations for the project, EPCA had held extensive meeting with truckers’ bodies, urging them to go cashless.
K S Atwal, chairman, All India Motor Transport Congress, said, “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.”
Aug 14, 2019 04:24 IST