Nearly 10,000 diesel taxis with an all-India tourist permit (AITP) will be phased out from the Ghaziabad transport region by 2021. The Ghaziabad regional transport department has stopped new registrations of diesel taxis and has also banned any further registration of AITP taxis following directions from the Supreme Court and recommendations of the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA).
The Ghaziabad regional transport department, with jurisdiction over Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Hapur and Bulandshahr, has nearly 10,000 AITPs for diesel taxis with seating capacity of seven, including the driver.
According to transport department data, AITP diesel taxi permits for nearly 1,110 vehicles would end in 2016. The permits of another 2,100, 1,638, 1,673, 2,900 and 1,246 such taxis will expire in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Taxi operators welcomed the Supreme Court’s directions to let their vehicles operate till their permits expire, but said they have no other option but to either sell their vehicles or take a no objection certificate (NOC) to operate them outside NCR when their permits expire.
“I bought my vehicle a year ago and got a major portion of the cost financed from a bank. The court order now gives me a reprieve to operate and at least repay the bank loan. At the end of the permit period, I will get the vehicle converted to private registration,” said Bhopal Singh, a taxi operator at Ghaziabad.
Taxi permits are issued for a period of five years with a condition that a transport department authorisation be procured every year. Almost 10,000 such taxis that run on diesel are registered in Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.
According to officials, only 28 diesel taxis took NOC from Ghaziabad transport region since January 1 and moved out of NCR.
“We hope more taxis will arrive following the Supreme Court orders. The permits for existing diesel AITP taxis will not be renewed. We have also stopped new registrations of diesel taxis and are only issuing NCR-taxi permits that have a precondition to run only on CNG. There is already a suspension on new registrations of vehicles of 2000cc and above capacity as per court order,” said Kamal Gupta, assistant regional transport officer, Ghaziabad.
“We are also not undertaking any renewal or fitness of diesel vehicles older than 10 years and petrol vehicles older than 15 years, as per the National Green Tribunal’s directions,” Gupta added.