Commuters may face inconvenience as nearly 27,000 diesel-run taxis will not be allowed to run on the capital’s roads from today after the Supreme Court on Saturday refused to extend the April 30 deadline fixed for their conversion into CNG mode.
According to transport department, about 60,000 taxis are registered in the national capital and of them 27,000 are running on diesel. Around 2,000 diesel-run taxis had converted into CNG mode in the last two months.
The Supreme Court order is not applicable on cabs having All India Permits but most of the diesel cabs run on local routes. This will essentially bring down the availability of cabs in the capital.
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai has directed the enforcement wing of the transport department to launch a crackdown against diesel-run cabs plying on locals routes in Delhi today.
“We will deploy our teams at several points to catch diesel cabs plying on the local routes in Delhi. If diesel-run cab is caught, our officials will ask commuters about the pick-up point and their destination following which it can be ascertained if it is following laid-down rules,” said a senior government official.
The official said that there is already ban on diesel cabs plying on local routes in Delhi.
“As per rule, taxis having All India permit are required to cover a distance of around 200 km. Taxis having all India permits cannot ply from one point to other point inside Delhi,” the official said.
Cabs going off roads may inconvenience thousands of commuters as many diesel cabs run on the local routes to ferry people from Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad.
The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to extend the April 30 deadline fixed for conversion of diesel cabs into less-polluting CNG mode.
“We can’t keep on extending the time. We are not extending it now and not going to make any exceptions. There is technology available, you convert,” a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said while rejecting the plea that it would affect livelihood of poor drivers.
The bench, also comprising Justices AK Sikri and R Banumathi, had on March 31, extended the deadline till Saturday for conversion of all diesel taxis to CNG.