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No parking lot, no shopping mart

New Delhi, Nov. 19: The capital today, other metros soon' The Supreme Court has ordered the Delhi government not to clear any commercial projects or designate commercial areas until it zeroes in on zones where the city's ever-increasing vehicles can park.

The order could adversely affect builders in the city. In another order, the three-member 'green bench' of Justices Y.K. Sabharwal, Arijit Passayat and S.H. Kapadia accepted the Environment Pollution Control Authority's recommendation not to let more three-wheelers ply in the capital.

The Delhi government has accepted the environment authority's recommendation but has sought six weeks to frame a parking policy.

Delhi lawyers hearing cases ranging from pollution to felling of forest trees said the Supreme Court order could be 'slowly' expanded to other cities like the one on compressed natural gas (CNG) had been.

Some years ago, the Supreme Court had ordered the Delhi government to make CNG ' known as a green fuel ' a must for commercial and public transport vehicles in an attempt to reduce air pollution in the capital. It also paved the way for private vehicles, including cars, to be made CNG friendly. This measure was then applied in other metros.

'Similarly, today's directive could be taken to places like Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai and all other major cities in the country,' a lawyer said.

Amicus curiae Harish Salve said the Delhi government had repeatedly sought time from the court and was not serious about framing a parking policy even as it cleared commercial projects.

In its order, the Supreme Court bench said: 'We direct that till further order the Delhi government would not clear the commercial projects as the aspect of parking policy would be a relevant consideration for the projects.'

Solicitor-general G.E. Vahanvati told the court that Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan will have a high-level meeting on December 2 to discuss a Rs 12,000 crore bypass/expressway around the capital to prevent heavy vehicles from transiting Delhi.

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