Delhi government seeks diesel cab operators’ views on ban

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New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The Delhi government on Tuesday asked for suggestions from taxi unions before presenting its detailed phase-out plan for diesel cabs before the Supreme Court on Thursday.

“We called a meeting of (representatives of) taxi unions and transporters at 3 p.m. They have been asked to submit their suggestions in writing by 1 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday). Their issues will also be discussed in the EPCA’s (Environment Pollution Control Authority) meeting tomorrow,” Delhi’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai told reporters here.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi government urged the apex court to relax its ban order as protesting taxi drivers created a gridlock in large parts of the National Capital Region for the second day.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur asked the government to submit a roadmap for phasing out the diesel cabs and switching over to cleaner compressed natural gas.

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Rai said that the ban does not apply to cabs with all-India tourist permit.

“We are waiting for a written order from the court regarding the ban on diesel cabs in Delhi and the remaining National Capital Region. Meanwhile, the enforcement agencies have not impounded any diesel cabs in Delhi,” the minister said.

The minister accused app-based taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola of illegally running diesel vehicles having all-India tourist permit.

The Supreme Court on April 30 refused extension to diesel cab operators to switch over to CNG, saying it had already given several extensions.

Owners and drivers of diesel taxis blocked several important roads, including the DND Expressway and Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, causing inconvenience to motorists and lakhs of other commuters.

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