Delhi HC wants the entire NCR region free of diesel cabs

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 Uber cab taxi

The Delhi High court is urging Centre to look at the possibility of freeing up the entire Delhi NCR region from diesel powered cabs. The court is okay with even amending the Motor Vehicles Act to carry this out. The jury is of the view that diesel is a “rich man’s fuel”, further suggesting that the purchase and use of oil burning vehicles should be discouraged in general. Justice Manmohan urged the Union cabinet secretary to head a panel comprising secretaries of environment, transport and petroleum ministries to chart out a strategy to make the entire NCR region diesel cab free.

It’s notable that Delhi High Court, on October 14 has issued an instruction for app-based radio taxi services like Ola and Uber to shift completely to CNG by March 1 in 2016.

Ola cab taxi

The High Court is of the view that the diesel run vehicles should be reduced in general and not just in the cab sector. “Urge or greed to buy vehicles must stop. What is use of thousands of cars if one dies of pollution? It (air pollution) is a very big problem, why are you not getting any registration policy on diesel vehicles? The entire MV Act needs to be reviewed so that you can deal with diesel vehicles. These need to be regulated. You can levy some cess; it is a rich man’s fuel. A very big policy decision is needed from the legislature,” Justice Manmohan observed.

Manish Mohan, central government’s counsel has assured the court that he will report to court on December 15 after seeking suggestions and instructions.

In the meantime, the court has asked app-based taxi services to provide a sealed including registration numbers, of all their vehicles in a confidential, sealed cover. The court has also directed the companies to give the details on the number of diesel cabs to be phased out every month to meet the CNG conversion deadline of March 1.

Is this step in the right direction? Will banning diesel cabs reduce the pollution levels in Delhi? Is diesel really a “rich man’s fuel” as observed by court? What other ways can you think of to reduce pollution levels in NCR? Do let us know your views.

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