People who use app-based taxi services will face problems from Friday as the Supreme Court-imposed ban on diesel cabs comes into effect from April 1.
The ban could hurt thousands of cab driver who have taken loans to buy vehicles. Across the city, thousands of cab drivers are scared of losing livelihood. The rules prohibit drivers from selling commercial vehicles within two years of purchase.
At least 35,000 commercial diesel vehicles ply in Delhi.
“I have tried to sell my vehicle but you can’t sell your commercial vehicle before two years. I don’t know what to do. How will I repay the loan, and school fees of my children? The government should intervene,” said Gagandeep Singh Mehta, a driver with Ola.
App-based aggregator Ola has submitted an affidavit saying it will not run any diesel cabs.
On Wednesday, a day before the hearing in Supreme Court, the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) called a meeting of senior bureaucrats and cab operators from four states to discuss how the ban would be enforced.
The meeting was attended by transport commissioners from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and aggregators such as Ola, Meru among others. According to sources, Ola has given an affidavit saying it will not run any diesel cab on its platform while Uber did not turn up. The association of Delhi taxi tourist operators protested at the venue and transport department officials promised them that no action will be taken if they give an affidavit that they will not run in Delhi.
The meeting was called to discuss and verify compliance as well as enforcement of orders on conversion of all diesel taxis plying on city permits to CNG by March 31, 2016. The data will be shared with the Supreme Court on Thursday.
“As a law abiding corporate citizen, we at Ola respect the law of our land and will abide by the Supreme Court’s order on running only CNG cabs in Delhi-NCR. We attended the meeting and submitted a letter to confirm the same,” said Deep Singh, business head, Ola (north).
“While we aim to serve our customers in Delhi NCR with a 100% CNG only fleet, we are keeping the interests of driver partners on priority by working closely with the driver community across the region; helping them source CNG vehicles at discounted prices. Ola helped 6,000 driver partners in Delhi NCR buy new CNG cars, Singh said.
According to sources, association of angry Delhi taxi tourist operators told the committee that Ola and Uber do not have licence to ply even CNG cars.
“Because of violations by Ola and Uber, other service operators who travel outside Delhi are suffering. Vehicle that have all-India permits will be challaned even if they are not plying within Delhi. There is a need to have clarification on this,” said Sanjay Samrat, president of All India tourist taxi association.