Taking advantage of poor police surveillance, diesel cabs had a free run in Gurgaon on Monday, a day after a Supreme Court order banning all diesel-run taxis in Delhi and NCR came into effect.
The city police were not halting and checking the cabs to see if they running on CNG or diesel.
“I just travelled from Sector 29 to Manesar in a diesel cab. The driver offered me a discount for choosing the vehicle and no one stopped us though a few traffic officials were managing two intersections that we crossed,” said Sambhavana Singh, a commuter.
The cab drivers, without connecting to the cab aggregators, were easily able to ferry commuters and drop them within the city. The drivers said strict vigilance is being kept in Delhi, where diesel vehicles are being impounded. However, Gurgaon was fairly safe for them to drive around.
“I am charging commuters Rs. 50 less than the normal fare. I drive with a private aggregator but did not attach my vehicle with them today. I made around 20 trips on Monday as the police were absent on roads,” said Ram Prasad Singh, a cab driver.
Commuters also welcomed the move as all the major cab aggregators had either surged the prices or did not have cabs available.
“I and my friend had to go to Sector 57 from Huda City Centre metro station. After waiting for 15 minutes, we decided to take a cab from near the station. He charged Rs 150 which was cheaper than the normal fare and the ride was comfortable,” said Rishi Raj, a commuter.
The police said they were checking taxis and had even fined several diesel-run cabs. However, no special campaign was launched by the police for a tighter surveillance.
“The traffic police inspected a number of cabs on Monday. The police issued challans to drivers for flouting the rule, though no special campaign was launched to strictly implement the new norm,” said ACP Hawa Singh.
There are about 14,000 cabs registered under the Road Transport Authority of which nearly 1,000 are running on CNG.