New Delhi: The Supreme Court slammed the Centre for not standardising ambulances and letting all sorts of vehicles to be used for the purpose by just putting up a red cross.
“You are not laying down the standards for calling a vehicle an ambulance. The report (by AIIMS) is lying in cold storage. It has to be acted upon,” said the apex court bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.K. Sikri and T.R. Banumathi.
Giving four weeks to the government to tell the status of the AIIMS report on standardisation of ambulances, the bench said: “Ambulances can be registered only if they conform to those standards. Otherwise someone will put a red cross on a vehicle and use it.”
The court’s observations came as it dealt with the Delhi government’s application seeking its nod for the registration of 110 ambulances to replace the existing obsolete fleet.
The new ambulances are not getting registered as the top court, by its December 16, 2015 order, had prohibited the registration of diesel vehicles with 2000 CC and above engine capacity in the National Capital Region as one of the steps to deal with pollution.
Meanwhile, the bench agreed to hear applications by the car makers Mercedes and Toyota seeking a relaxation of kits December 16 order with a proposal that they would deposit one percent case as Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) based on the cost of the vehicles they sell.
Pointing out that vehicles in Europe had failed the emission standard tests, Chief Justice Thakur said: “There is disconnect between the claim you make and the actuality on the road.”
As court directed the hearing of the applications on July 4, it was told that there were studies in respect of Euro III but not for Euro IV.