Prepared to deal with order, say cab companies

In December last year, the court had set a deadline of March 1 for converting non-CNG cabs to CNG. Since then, the deadline has been extended twice, with the final April 30 deadline culminating Saturday.

Written by Sakshi Dayal | New Delhi | Updated: May 1, 2016 4:56 am

Cab companies operating in the National Capital Region (NCR) Saturday said they are prepared to deal with the Supreme Court’s decision to ban all petrol and diesel cabs beginning May 1.

In December last year, the court had set a deadline of March 1 for converting non-CNG cabs to CNG. Since then, the deadline has been extended twice, with the final April 30 deadline culminating Saturday.

The extension, companies claimed, warned them of the seriousness of the issue and gave them time to convert most of their fleet to CNG so that they would be prepared when the ban was finally imposed.

Ruchica Tomar, spokesperson for Uber, India, said, “We don’t really feel the need to react to this decision since it is exactly what was expected. The court had made it clear that beyond a point, only CNG taxis would be allowed to ply and we had already decided we would comply with whatever the court says… If the order is in continuation with what was said earlier, then we are prepared.”

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Although refusing to share specific details about the proportion of vehicles in Uber’s fleet that currently run on CNG, she said, “We are not greatly concerned about having to take a lot of our vehicles off the roads because, like I said, we are not surprised by this decision. We have been expecting it and are well-prepared.”

Apart from Uber, app-based cab service Meru has taken steps to ensure that the SC decision doesn’t adversely affect the company or its customers.

Vikrant Khare, deputy CEO of Meru, said, “This is not a new order, it has always been there. It is just that the Supreme Court has ordered its imposition from tomorrow. We have always complied with the order and have had only CNG vehicles in our fleet since we began operations. All our cars run on CNG so this decision is not going to impact us in any way.”

Ola, another popular aggregator operating taxis, released a statement Saturday to clarify its stand on the issue. It said, “As a responsible, law abiding corporate citizen, Ola respects and will abide by the law of the land.”

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