NEW DELHI: Around 25,000 to 30,000 private diesel vehicles are being hired illegally by various departments of both the Central and the Delhi government for conveyance of bureaucrats and ministers in the National Capital, the Environment Pollution (Prevention) Control Authority (EPCA) has found. Taking cognizance of the issue, the Supreme Court-appointed committee will write to the Central and Delhi govts seeking their explanation on the matter. The decision was taken on Friday at an EPCA meeting chaired by its chairperson Bhure Lal.
With Delhi reeling under high pollution levels, an EPCA member said the committee has received reports that as per unofficial estimates, around 25,000 to 30,000 diesel cars are being hired as taxis.The EPCA expressed concern over private vehicles being used as taxis by the state and the central governments in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
“It has come to our notice that many such cars are being hired on demand by ministries. This is in contravention of the Supreme Court order. We will be writing to them to know the veracity of these complaints and ask them what action they are taking. The governments should only be allowed to hire CNG and petrol cars,” said an EPCA member.
In May 2016, the Supreme Court had ordered a gradual phase-out of diesel taxis from Delhi-NCR. It had said taxis can only be run on dual fuel, petrol, or CNG, and the already existing diesel ones can operate until the expiry of permits. Meanwhile, the meeting also took stock of the number of diesel taxis in the fleet of cab aggregators and other taxi operators.
Uber representatives said 1.7-1.8 per cent of their taxis are diesel, which are plying in and outside Delhi-NCR, while Ola said 1.8 per cent of their vehicles are diesel that ply on the inter-city and intra-city route. The two cab aggregators also said that they are trying to phase out these vehicles.