Private operators have bulldozed the Delhi government into indefinitely deferring the phase-out schedule for diesel buses. As against a target of 2788 buses, only 727 have gone off the roads in December 2001.
On October 18, the Supreme Court (sc) had directed the city government to phase out 8881 diesel buses by January 31, 2002, and replace them with compressed natural gas (cng) vehicles. Subsequently, in a hearing on the issue on December 6, Jatinder Moudgil, president, All-India CNG Bus Operators' Association, contended that contrary to claims even a limited number of diesel buses had not been barred from plying.
In a related development, the sc gave the Environment Pollution (prevention and control) Authority eight weeks to furnish information on whether surprise inspections had been conducted at petrol pumps, oil depots and tankers to check for spurious diesel.
The apex court issued two other significant directives:
No heavy, medium and light goods vehicles plying on inter-state routes would be allowed to pass through Delhi from January 15, 2002
Tamper-proof fare meters should be installed in autorickshaws and taxis by February 1, 2002
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