New Delhi, Dec 13: In a bid to make Shimla free of traffic congestion, the National Green Tribunal has directed Himachal Pradesh government to impose an environmental compensation of Rs 500 on vehicles coming close to the Mall Road, a major tourist spot.
The green panel has also directed the state and concerned authorities to declare "silence zones" in Shimla and display sign boards at conspicuous places to ensure that no noise is generated by horns within 100 meters of these areas.
"The state government shall revise the restricted and sealed roads of Shimla and would issue notification in that regard, completely prohibiting and restricting vehicular traffic on those roads. It shall ensure that no parking is permitted on the sealed roads of Shimla and shall consider making traffic at Cart Road in Shimla as 'one way' traffic. "
The state government shall also take all steps to ensure that there is no traffic congestion on any of the roads in Shimla, particularly Cart Road.
Cars permitted to come to the Western Command, Post Office, High Court and other such points near and around the Mall Road in Shimla would be required to pay a sum of Rs 500 as environmental compensation on the principle of 'Polluter Pays'," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The Tribunal further said concrete steps are required to be taken at earliest. "If not taken now, the day is not far when ambient air quality of Shimla will deteriorate to an undesirable level, causing health hazards and the noise pollution would make it difficult for the residents of Shimla to live a peaceful and enjoyable life".
It directed Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board, Secretary (Transport) and Director General of Police to take immediate steps to strictly comply the directions.
The directions were passed on the plea of Shimla resident Permanand Klanta who had approached the green bench against the increasing noise and air pollution in the area.