Why no reis­sue of CNG cab per­mits, asks EPCA

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - Ri­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: The Supreme Court-ap­pointed En­vi­ron­ment Pol­lu­tion (Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol) Au­thor­ity (EPCA) will write to the Delhi trans­port depart­ment on not reis­su­ing per­mits to CNG taxis af­ter five years.

In an EPCA meet­ing on Fri­day, its mem­bers said the Delhi gov­ern­ment was de­stroy­ing a Supreme Court or­der by mis­in­ter­pret­ing it. “Why are CNG cars be­ing phased out in five years like diesel? Need an of­fi­cial re­sponse from the trans­port depart­ment,” EPCA mem­ber Su­nita Narain said.

In May 2016, the Supreme Court had or­dered a grad­ual phase-out of diesel taxis from the na­tional cap­i­tal re­gion (NCR) and said they could ope- rate un­til the ex­piry of their per­mits. New li­cences should not be given for diesel taxis in NCR and those with all-In­dia tourist per­mits (AITP) may op­er­ate till their per­mits ex­pire, the court had said.

While diesel taxis are not al­lowed in NCR, the Supreme Court had al­lowed diesel cabs run­ning on AITPs with the ex­ist­ing fleet con­verted to AITP-O (old) and hav­ing only a lim­ited life, while the new AITP taxis be­ing reg­is­tered as AITP-N (new), which can be reg­is­tered on petrol, CNG, dual fuel and on diesel only with an af­fi­davit stat­ing that th­ese will not of­fer point-to-point ser­vices in NCR.

“We are re­ceiv­ing com­plaints from AITP op­er­a­tors that the Delhi trans­port depart­ment is not re­new­ing CNG per­mits, too, af­ter five years. In no way has the court said that CNG AITP taxis will not be re­newed. If the trans­port depart­ment doesn’t ac­cept it, we will take it to court and sort it out,” Narain said at the meet­ing called to dis­cuss pos­si­ble ac­tions against diesel ve­hi­cles ply­ing in NCR, start­ing with com­mer­cial ones.

A trans­port depart­ment of­fi­cial sub­mit­ted that there were around11,088 AITP-O and 4,137 AITP-N diesel ve­hi­cles reg­is­tered in Delhi. The num­ber of CNG-run ve­hi­cles will be sub­mit­ted in the next meet­ing.

Two weeks ago, EPCA had said that it may im­pound vi­o­lat­ing ve­hi­cles as well. “No diesel­based taxis will have the aligh- ting point or board­ing point in NCR. If any are found to be op­er­at­ing with­out them be­ing dis­closed, they will straight away be im­pounded and their li­cences be can­celled. Ac­cord­ing to our es­ti­mate, al­most 70,000 diesel-based taxis are still op­er­at­ing in NCR, which is a big num­ber,” said EPCA chair­man Bhure Lal had said.

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