Drivers of diesel vehicles expressed relief at the relaxation of the ban announced by the Supreme Court Tuesday.
“I finally took my cars out on the roads today. It is a great relief for all of us. I have resumed work with the private company I lend my cabs to, though I have suffered a week’s worth of losses since the April 30 ban,” said Arif Khan, owner of a fleet of 10 diesel cabs.
However, as per the apex court’s order Tuesday, cabs with All-India Tourist Permits can ply till their permits expire.
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The permits are issued for a five-year period, after which they are given an extension of up to three years.
“I bought my cab three years ago. I have only two years left till my permit expires. According to the rules, I will not be given an extension nor will I be allowed to convert my car for private use. I will have to sell it off eventually but I know I will get a pittance for it,” said Sandeep Kumar, who owns a commercial car.
Drivers said they have to eventually deal with the possibility of selling their vehicles at low prices.
“I will leave this profession after my permit expires next year. I have borrowed money to clear the loans I took for the car but I don’t think I will have enough money to buy a new CNG vehicle. I plan to work at my uncle’s shop till I can save up enough money,” said Harinder Singh, a driver.
In a statement, cab aggregator Ola said, “We welcome the decision of the Honourable Supreme Court. The proposed phased roll-out by EPCA and the government will help salvage the livelihood of tens of thousands of drivers in Delhi/NCR. Ola is committed to CNG adoption in Delhi/NCR and currently has over 30,000 CNG vehicles on the platform.”