The centre, on April 18, 2018, informed the Supreme Court that work on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal, has been completed. The centre also briefed a bench, comprising justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, about the ongoing work pertaining to the 135-km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, which connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the centre, told the bench that construction work of Western Peripheral Expressway was going on and he would seek instructions in this regard and get back to the court. Advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, told the bench that the work of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway was on track and it is scheduled to be opened, by end of April 2018. The bench posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
Earlier, the Haryana government had told the bench that the work on the Western Peripheral Expressway, was expected to be completed by June 2018. The apex court, which has been hearing a 1985 plea filed by environmentalist MC Mehta, on various issues including vehicular pollution, had asked the centre, in 2005, to build a peripheral expressway around Delhi by July 2016, to decongest and ‘de-pollute’ the national capital. The two expressways were planned in 2006, following the top court’s order to build a ring road outside the national capital, for channeling non-Delhi bound traffic bypassing the city.
At the hearing today, the amicus also told the bench that the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) would file its report within two weeks, on the issue of whether on-board diagnostics (OBD) scanners could be made compulsory, for vehicle pollution test centres. OBD is an automotive term, referring to a vehicle’s self-diagnostic and reporting capability. The centre had earlier told the bench that there were 3,020 petrol stations and 1,083 pollution under control (PUC) centres in the Delhi-national capital region. In its earlier report filed in the apex court, the EPCA had favoured review and upgradation of the PUC norms, for pre-BS IV vehicles and also upgradation of the test procedure for smoke density of commercial vehicles.