Cab Drivers Protest SC Ban on Diesel, Block Traffic in Delhi

The Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline for diesel cars to convert to CNG beyond 1 May.

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Diesel-powered cabs lined up in Rajokri in protest. (Photo Courtesy: <a href="https://twitter.com/ANI_news?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Twitter/@ANI_news</a> )

Traffic was thrown out-of-gear in areas around National Highway 8 this morning as hundreds of cab drivers blocked both carriageways near the Rajokri toll booth in southwest Delhi on the key road protesting against the Supreme Court’s decision to ban diesel taxis in the city.

The congestion largely affected thousands of office-goers who travel between Delhi and Gurgaon, linked by NH-8, and the traffic helpline was bombarded with calls from distressed commuters.

Dhaulakuan, Kapashera and Mehrauli were some of the areas where traffic crawled for hours and a long tailback stretching over a kilometer was witnessed near the Rajokri flyover around 9 am, a traffic official said. The chaotic situation stretched beyond 11 am and traffic personnel had to be pressed into service in the area, the official added.

Vehicles also piled up on the Delhi-Noida Direct flyway even as part of the protests were cleared up by the police.

After extending the deadline twice, the apex court had on Saturday refused to give more time to cab operators to convert to CNG and put a ban on diesel cabs in the city from 1 May.

Commuters in a Fix

The ban threw commuters in a fix over the shortage of cars in Ola, Uber and other cab services. Many complained that their daily commute was extended by hours by the protests.

The Supreme Court’s ban will essentially bring down the availability of cabs in the national capital.

The government has also warned taxi providers of strict action with regard to surge pricing.

According to Delhi transport department, about 60,000 taxis are registered in the national capital of which 27,000 run on diesel. Around 2,000 diesel-run taxis had converted into CNG mode in the last two months.

( With agency inputs)

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