Cab-hailing apps Ola and Uber are gearing up to switch their fleet to CNG by March 31, the deadline fixed by the Supreme Court for converting all diesel taxis to the eco-friendly fuel in the national capital region.
Both aggregators have circulated an internal communication among drivers specifying no diesel-run vehicles would be allowed to run on the roads from April 1.
Currently, Ola and Uber run CNG cabs in Delhi but allow diesel taxis to ply between Delhi and NCR towns such as Gurgaon or Noida. Both apps have separate options for booking Delhi-NCR cabs.
“As a law-abiding corporate citizen, we at Ola respect the law of our land and will abide by the Apex court’s order on running only CNG cabs in Delhi-NCR,” said Deep Singh, business head (north) at Ola.
The company has tied up with car manufacturers, banks and financiers to assist discounts, loan offers and on-spot valuation and exchange offers for its drivers.
“We are helping drivers to source CNG vehicles at discounted prices and also facilitating offers on bank loans for them to enable easy CNG switch,” Singh added.
Ola has added 6,000 new CNG cabs in the Delhi-NCR area. The company said it will invest Rs 200 Crore for CNG adoption over the next six months. It operates a CNG fleet of 26,000 cabs in Delhi-NCR.
Uber has also launched initiatives to encourage its drivers to switch to CNG.
A company spokesperson said that the company has tied up with nationalised banks to offer loans to drivers.
“We will abide by SC directives. We have informed the drivers that no diesel-run taxi would be allowed to ply on Gurgaon roads from April 1,” said an Uber spokesperson.
But the move has upset thousands of private taxi-owners working with the aggregators.
“We got a message from the company that the diesel-run cab will not be allowed on roads. We do not know how to do it overnight. They should have given some time,” said Ajay Singh, a cab driver with Ola.