New Delhi: The Delhi government on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to relax its order banning cabs operating on diesel, as protesting taxi drivers created a gridlock in large parts of the national capital region for the second day.
The bench headed by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur asked the city government to give a roadmap for phasing out diesel cabs and switching over to cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel.
The government told the court that it will file a roadmap by Tuesday evening after which the matter was listed to be heard on Wednesday.
The Delhi government later sought two days’ time to submit the roadmap. Thus, the consideration of the plea for relaxation of the April 30 ban order is unlikely to take place on Wednesday.
The court on Tuesday said its order to ban diesel taxis was not to cause any inconvenience to the people but to curb rising pollution in the capital, considered one of the worst polluted cities in the world.
As the Delhi government said it was “fully committed to tackling pollution” but “a problem has arisen for the citizens”, the bench said: “We also don’t intent to create a human problem but whenever such measures are taken it does lead to some inconvenience.”
The court had on April 30 refused extension of time to diesel cab operators for switching over to CNG, saying it had already given several extensions and could not go on extending it.
The apex court by its December 16, 2015 order had asked diesel cab operators in Delhi to switch over to CNG by March 1, 2016.
However, by its January 5, 2016 order, the court brought all diesel cars operating in NCR under the ambit of its December 16, 2015 order and extended the deadline till March 31.