The Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed app-based cab services time till March 1 next year to convert all their diesel-run vehicles to CNG.
In a temporary relief, Justice Manmohan allowed companies like Ola and Uber to operate on the condition that they shift their fleet entirely to CNG from diesel in a phased manner.
The court had made it clear in previous hearings that it was not going to allow diesel vehicles to ply point-to-point services in the capital. It had, however, said that it could consider giving them time to shift to greener technology and protect them from a blanket ban if they submitted an undertaking.
The high court, however, also made it clear that for companies that not give an undertaking with regard to phasing out of their diesel cabs from the capital roads, its July 29 order had to be enforced strictly.
On July 29, the HC had upheld Delhi government’s January 1 order by which all app-based cab services which did not conform to the modified Radio Taxi Scheme were to be banned from operating in the city.
Justice Manmohan on Wednesday said imposing a blanket ban was not a practical solution as it was the public who suffered in the end.
“At least one chance should be given to them as they are willing to shift to CNG. Some time needs to be given to them otherwise the public will be put to inconvenience. I do not want the public to suffer,” the judge said.
Justice Manmohan further directed the companies to submit in an affidavit a monthly schedule on how they intend to phase out the diesel vehicles before March 1, 2016.
The court also asked the cab companies present in court, besides Uber and Ola, to give some suggestions to the court about the mechanism, by which the facts and figures can be verified by the state transport department.
The court passed its interim order while hearing a plea filed by Association of Radio Taxis, represented by senior advocate Nidesh Gupta, who contended that the court’s order upholding a ban on diesel cabs providing point-to-point service in the national capital was being implemented only against Ola, while other app-based taxi services were violating it with impunity.