Accepting the proposal to ban the diesel taxis in a phased manner, given by the governments (state and centre) and other parties, the Supreme Court on Tuesday relaxed its previous direction for blanket ban and allowed the diesel-cabs having all-India travel permit to operate till the expiry of their existing permits in the NCR region.The court made it very clear that there will be no registration of new diesel-run taxis.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court ban on diesel taxis had led to widespread protests, forcing the Delhi government and the Centre to urgently approach the court for modification of its April 30 order.The Centre argued that ban on diesel cabs with all-India travel permits (AITP) would severely cripple the burgeoning BPO businesses located mostly outside Delhi in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Gurgaon.”You must understand what we are trying to do here… There has to be a gradual phase-out. Using AITP vehicles to ferry BPO staffers is abusing the law. These are not genuine AITP operators and are used only by BPOs,” Chief Justice Thakur said.The Bench directed the Delhi government to allow city taxis having valid permits under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 to extend their area of operation from the confines of National capital territory (NCT) of Delhi to all NCR regions, including Gurgaon, to make up for the lack of vehicles caused by the continuing ban on diesel vehicles with over 2000 CC engine capacity.As for AITP taxis, they would be permitted to continue their point-to-point intra NCT-NCR operations till their permits expire, provided the operators follow all the rules of passenger safety, security and fare issued by the competent authorities.This means that AITP operators will have to place on record for prior clearance all relevant details including their drivers’ licences, vehicle insurance details, among others.Any new AITP permits will not further authorise such point-to-point pick-up and drop operations within NCR. “Authority issuing AITP permits shall insist on an undertaking from the AITP permit applicant that he shall not use the taxi for point-to-point service within NCR,” Justice Thakur said.
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