The Supreme Court on Monday prohibited the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the national capital region (NCR) and directed the transport department to announce that such vehicles would be impounded if found plying.

Terming as “very critical” the prevailing situation of pollution in Delhi-NCR region, the apex court directed that a list of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles be published on the websites of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and transport department.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur, S Abdul Nazeer, and Deepak Gupta said that advertisement on this should also be published in the newspapers.

The bench directed the CPCB to immediately create a social media account on which citizens could lodge their complaints directly about pollution on which appropriate action could be taken by the authorities concerned.

It permitted the court-mandated Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to take pre-emptive steps under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) without strict adherence to pollution stages delineated in the plan.

GRAP is aimed at tackling air pollution in Delhi-NCR and adjoining areas and it is designed to take urgent remedial action when air quality deteriorates.

The apex court passed these directions on a note placed before it by advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, seeking urgent directions to correct the prevailing situation of pollution.

Earlier, the National Green Tribunal had also banned the plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in the Delhi-NCR.

The apex court had rejected a plea against the NGT’s order banning plying of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles on Delhi roads.

The top court is seized of matters in which several issues related to air pollution in the Delhi-NCR have been raised.