Business as usual

Published: Tuesday 15 September 2009

Vehicles more than 15 years old and two-stroke auto rickshaws continue to ply on Kolkata streets. This is despite the high court setting August 1 as the deadline to get such vehicles off the Kolkata Metropolitan Area and the Supreme Court upholding the high court order (see 'Four stroke LPG autos only', Down To Earth, July 15, 2009). The court directive, however, was not implemented except in core Kolkata, which is about one-tenth of the metropolitan area. Initially, the banned vehicles avoided major thoroughfares but now the situation is almost back to what it was before the high court order came into effect. "Traffic authorities are vigilant and are monitoring more areas," said Dilip Bandopadhyay, deputy commissioner, Kolkata traffic. But sources said traffic officials had not seized any vehicle yet. Activist Subhash Dutta accused the administration of sabotaging the court order.

--J BASU, Kolkata

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