Diesel and petrol cab owners blocked roads near the Delhi-Gurugram border on Monday morning to protest against the Supreme Court order on banning fossil-fuelled cabs from plying on the roads of the National Capital Region (NCR).
On Saturday, the Supreme Court refused to extend the deadline, which has been extended twice earlier, and implemented a ban on diesel and petrol cabs in NCR. Only CNG fuelled taxis are permitted to ply in the capital now. In a bid to implement the order strictly, the police ran some random checks on taxi stands and impounded almost 150 taxis on Sunday, according to the Times of India.
"Taxi drivers were protesting against the Supreme Court's ban on diesel and petrol taxis. The protest is mostly over now. And it's taking time to clear the traffic as there was a huge line-up," a traffic cop from South Delhi District told International Business Times India.
On Sunday, when the ban came into force, some cab drivers warned that the apex court's decision could lead to frustration and suicides among cab owners, according to IANS.
"How do we pay our monthly instalments to banks for the loans taken to buy taxis? Does not the government realise that diesel cars can't be converted into CNG?" S Kumar, owner of Kumar Taxi Services in central Delhi, told IANS.
Of the 50,000 registered cabs in the city, almost 27,000 run on diesel.
The ban will mainly affect taxi aggregators like Ola and Uber, a taxi operator told the news agency.
"The decision is not applicable to taxis with All India Tourist Permit. This is going to be a setback for Ola and Uber who have a large number of taxis run on diesel," Raman of Kamal Taxi Service told IANS.
However, owners of taxis with All India Tourist Permits alleged on Monday that they were being harassed by the police.
"We have All India Permits, so we are officially exempt from the rule. But traffic police have challaned at least 34 of our vehicles Sunday," Sanjay Samrat, president of the Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters and Tour Operator Association told the Indian Express. Meanwhile, other cab owners did not send out their All India Tourist Permit taxis as they were unclear if the ruling applied to them.