Ola tells Delhi High Court it will not run diesel cabs in city

The company's diesel taxis would be restricted to inter-city travel only from Thursday

New Delhi: Ola cab company on Thursday said its diesel taxis will no longer run services within the city limits, after Delhi High Court asked it to show it has complied with its order upholding the city government's ban on app-based diesel vehicles.

Ola told the court that in compliance of its order, the company's diesel taxis would be restricted to inter-city travel only from Thursday.

It said "the company will not make available on 'Ola technology platform', All India Tourist Permit (AITP) taxis operating on diesel on point-to-point in the national capital territory of Delhi."

It also said that necessary software for the same has been developed and installed and has become operational from 10 am today.

ANI Technologies, which operates under the brand of Ola, made the submissions before Justice Manmohan who directed the company to place before it an affidavit by October 5 showing it has complied with the court's July 29 order as well as the licence guidelines.

On July 29, the high court had upheld Delhi government's January 1 order by which all app-based cab services, which did not conform to the modified Radio Taxi Scheme were banned from operating in the city. The single-judge order was challenged by Ola before a division bench which had dismissed its appeal on August 11.

The high court had on August 11 dismissed Ola's appeal against its July 29 order, saying the company was "factually incorrect" to contend non-CNG commercial vehicles like diesel cabs, were not barred from plying in the national capital.

Subsequently, an Association of Radio Taxis moved the high Court alleging that despite orders of July 29 and August 11, Ola was operating cabs running on diesel in the city.

The association on Thursday told the court that since Ola was operating diesel cabs despite the ban orders, it should be directed to plant trees as compensation for pollution caused.

Delhi government counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan also agreed with the suggestion and said he will provide necessary details on the next date on the feasibility of implementing it.

Delhi government, meanwhile, told the court that between August 1 and August 19, it has challaned 745 taxis having AITP and running on diesel providing point to point service in the city. It also said that 607 of these cabs were impounded by the traffic police.

The affidavit was filed in response to court's query on whether app-based cab service provider Ola was operating in the national capital in violation of its orders.

In its writ petition filed before the single-judge, Ola had contended that it was not amenable to the Delhi government's modified Radio Taxi Scheme as cabs contracted by it have AITPs and thus, it did not need to apply for licence to operate in the city.

Ola had argued that other taxi organisations, which were not app-based, fell under Radio Taxi Scheme and they owned the cabs they operated, while Ola does not own the vehicles that run under their brand and only connects the taxis with the customers.

Delhi government's January 1, order had banned operation of app-based cab services till they complied with the guidelines of Radio Taxi Scheme of 2006 which was amended on December 26 last year.The scheme was amended after a woman executive was allegedly raped in a Uber cab in December last year.

( Source : PTI )
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