With only four days to go before the deadline for phasing out 15-year-old commercial vehicles,bus and taxi operators are seen to take a softer stand and comply with the High Court ban on 15-year-old vehicles.
While the lawyers of taxi and bus operators will submit their petition before the Supreme Court on Tuesday and promise to keep fighting their case against the phasing out of vehicles,the transport operators have decided to keep old vehicles off the roads from July 31.
We have sent our representatives to Delhi to take up our case in the Supreme Court. However,we will also abide by the High Court deadline of July 31 and run only those taxis that have applied for a replacement and have certificates to prove it, said Bimal Guha,president of Taxi Bachao Committee. The government has offered a scheme to taxi operators under which they can ask for a replacement of their taxis,and will be given easy loans. Those who have applied for the replacement can continue to run their taxis even after the deadline.
According to Guha,of the 7,000 taxis that fall under the HC ban,the majority has applied for the replacement in the last few days while more will apply by July 31. Bus operators have decided to keep their old vehicles off the road,hoping for the Supreme Court to hear their plea soon.
We are waiting to see what happens in the Supreme Court. If we run our buses after July 31 and any accident occurs,we will not be able to get any insurance since we will be illegally plying then, said Swarnakomal Saha,general secretary,Bengal Bus Syndicate.
The state government has already said it would not renew the permits to the 15-year-old vehicles. All such vehicles running after July 31 will be illegal, state Transport Secretary Sumantra Choudhury said.