The Supreme Court has extended the deadline for private cab aggregators to switch to CNG vehicles. Earlier, court had imposed a ban on plying diesel cabs in Delhi from April 1.
Now cab-aggregators have a month’s time to switch to CNG from diesel. The ban posed a major threat to the cab-aggregators in the city.
Earlier this month reports surfaced that Ola planned to expand the fleet of CNG cars by spending $30 Mn for adopting CNG cabs in Delhi-NCR. The move came after Delhi High Court, directed Ola, Uber and radio taxis’ association to give details, including registration numbers, of those cabs which they intend to phase out by March 31 as per the Supreme Court’s order.
Deep Singh, Business Head, North at Ola said “Ola has been working relentlessly over the last month to help diesel taxi owners across Delhi NCR by highlighting their plight to the EPCA as well as the relevant Govt authorities. We are happy that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has considered their constraints.”
On the other hand, Uber officials claim that they have taken measures to comply with the court order. It claims to have added over 11,000 CNG vehicles in its fleet since October 2015.
Gagan Bhatia, General Manager, Uber North said, “Complying with the Court’s order regarding CNG cars, Uber Delhi connects riders on its platform to only CNG fuelled cars for trips within Delhi. Since October 2015, we have extensively pushed the adoption of CNG cars through significant measures and investments.”
The ban, aimed at improving the quality of air in the city proved to be a bone of contention for the vehicle owners that had diesel vehicles, across the city. Most of the drivers could not sell their vehicles as in case of a commercial vehicles rules prohibit drivers from selling them within two years of purchase.
While Ola has submitted an affidavit saying it will not run diesel cabs in the city, Uber was reported absent from the meeting called by the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA), a day before the ban. The meeting was comprised of senior bureaucrats and cab operators from four states to discuss how will the governments enforce the ban.
The Supreme Court also extended the ban on sale of large diesel cars in New Delhi until the next hearing of the case, reported HT.
The next date has not been specified yet. The existing ban, aimed at combating toxic smog in India’s capital, that banned cars with 2000 cc and above diesel engines was until March 31st. Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, one of the three judges hearing the case, said the court would consider whether to impose an environmental cess on the sale of diesel cars in New Delhi.
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