New Delhi, May 1: The ban on plying of 27,000 diesel-run taxis in Delhi came into force today, with the authorities launching a crackdown against violators, impounding errant vehicles.
The impact of shortage of taxis will be felt tomorrow, the first working day after the Supreme Court yesterday refused to extend the deadline for converting diesel-run taxis into CNG-mode.
As Traffic Police and Delhi Government's transport department launched a crackdown against the violators, commuters found it difficult to book taxis through app-based aggregators Ola and Uber.
Amid the shortage of taxis, Uber brought back controversial surge pricing, a day after the odd-even car rationing scheme came to an end. The Delhi government had proscribed surge pricing during the 'odd-even period' and later announced that the ban will continue even after the 15-day period of the road-rationing scheme has ended.
"We have today launched an intensive crackdown against diesel-run taxis plying in Delhi-NCR following the Supreme Court's order. The crackdown was launched in the morning which continued late in the night," said a senior government official.
The official said that the transport department has impounded hundreds of diesel-run taxis in the Delhi-NCR. "Instructions have been issued to authorities concerned, including transport department, to impound diesel-run taxis plying in Delhi-NCR," another senior government official said.
According to Delhi transport department, about 60,000 taxis are registered in the national capital of which 27,000 run on diesel. Around 2,000 diesel-run taxis had converted into CNG mode in the last two months. The SC order is not applicable to cabs having All-India Permits but most of the diesel taxis ply on local routes. The ban will essentially bring down the availability of cabs in the capital.
"As per rule, taxis having All-India permit are required to cover a minimum distance of 200 km. Taxis having All India permits cannot ply from one point to other point inside Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad," official further said.
As Uber brought back surge pricing in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warned the operators of "strong action". Uber had introduced the provision during odd-even scheme, which was objected to by commuters and Kejriwal had asserted that such demand-linked hikes would be banned permanently.