Corporate offices in the city, especially BPOs and call centres operating round the clock, are a relieved lot after the recent decision of the Supreme Court to allow diesel cabs with All India Tourist Permit (AITP) to run in Delhi-NCR until their permits expire. Earlier, the apex court had imposed a blanket ban on diesel taxis in Delhi-NCR.
AITPs are granted to cabs for providing point-to point service to commuters. The permits are valid for five years. Drivers had alleged that authorities in Delhi and NCR were harassing them due to non-clarity over the SC’s earlier decision.
Heads of corporate houses said the decision has bought them time to formulate a plan for introducing CNG vehicles without causing inconvenience to the employees.
Nidhi Gupta, regional head (North), Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), said, “We are glad that our concerns were understood by the Supreme Court and a phase out plan has been suggested accordingly. We will work closely with companies to phase out diesel vehicles. Our efforts to promote sustainable transport and encourage use of public transport, especially by day shift workers, will continue to be a priority.”
Concentrix Corporation, an outsourcing firm for IBM, said they are already formulating an action plan to phase out diesel cabs. The plan will be finalised after the apex court’s final orders, the company said.
“Concentrix understands that using CNG has the potential to significantly curb the pollution levels. At this stage, we have been complying with the orders of the Supreme Court. For the next stage, we are already in the midst of creating an action plan to phase out diesel cabs. However, the final SC order will give us clarity to understand and finalise the roadmap,” said JoJo Mathews, senior director, (HR), Concentrix, India & Middle East.
The companies said the latest decision of the apex court has ended the inconvenience faced by them and their employees in the past 10 days, especially during night shifts.
“The decision by the Supreme Court has allowed us to ply the cabs freely in Delhi-NCR. This will end the inconvenience faced by the employees for the past 10 days. The company tried every option to ensure that the employees reach home safely, especially during night shifts,” said Deepak Ohylan, executive director, global facilities management, Dell.
However, firms fear that their transportation cost will increase once they replace the diesel cabs with CNG ones. They expect at least a 20% rise in the cost.
“There are still a lot of issues that companies will have to take into account, especially the lesser number of CNG filling stations in the city. The companies do not want the drivers to stand in queues for hours to fill the gas,” said an official from an IT firm.