Over 450 multinational companies (MNCs) and business process outsourcing (BPOs) firms in the twin cities, together employing over 1.5 lakh people, are facing an acute shortage of cabs due to the ban on plying of diesel cabs in Delhi. The offices of these MNCs and BPOs have started shifting to CNG-run cab services, but their facility managers say a complete replacement of diesel cabs is not possible in such a short span of time.
“The MNCs, BPOs, IT sector and IT enabled services that provide cabs to their employees are the worst affected. There is an acute shortage of CNG-run cabs. We are hiring every possible mode of transport that can pick and drop employees,” said Ajit Pandey, a member of facility management zone (FMZ), an organisation of facility managers of MNCs across India.
He said many companies have asked their employees to commute by Metro and offered to refund their expenses.
“The companies are also encouraging their employees to hire CNG-run shuttle services, for which they will be refunded. However, the reach of shuttle services is limited, especially in the densely-populated areas of Delhi where most BPO workers live. Shuttle buses cannot reach inside narrow lanes, posing a security threat to female employees,” said Pandey.
In addition, BPOs – the biggest job providers in Greater Noida – do not find bus or shuttle services feasible for pick up and drops for night shifts as the service takes much more time than cabs.
“Big vehicles cannot be a replacement for cabs. We are in dire need of CNG cabs. Some of the vendors who have an entire fleet of CNG cabs are now overcharging. The situation is critical,” said Amit Kumar, a facility manager with an MNC.
Meanwhile, diesel cab operators claim that they are not getting loans from banks to buy new CNG cabs.
“We had bought 10 diesel cars with the help of a bank loan. Now as the diesel cabs are banned, banks are questioning our ability to repay the loan. We are not in a condition to replace all the cabs with CNG-run vehicles as a huge amount of money is involved,” said Kripal Singh, a cab service provider to an MNC.