App-based cab aggregators like Uber and Ola are far from getting any respite in Delhi. If banning them was not enough, the Kejriwal-led government last month directed app-based taxi aggregators like Uber and Ola to strictly run only CNG-powered vehicles. In response to this directive, Uber has clarified its position, and suggests a “pragmatic solution to the problem.”
“We verified the data provided by Uber, Ola Cabs and found that over 80 percent of their taxis are diesel-run which contribute to polluting of Delhi’s air extensively. We will not allow to run their such taxis in Delhi at any cost. Uber and Ola have to bring all their taxis on CNG. Government cannot compromise over pollution issue,” Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai had told PTI.
Uber however is not convinced with the government’s directive citing its own numbers. It says that over 2.5 million vehicles run in Delhi, of which only about 35,000 are registered with the All India Tourist Taxi Permits (AITP). Of these a small number of vehicles are a part of Uber, and thus it cannot be blamed for being majorly responsible for the air pollution issue in the national capital.
Rather than dismissing the concerns though, Uber is implementing some solutions of its own, which includes only registering vehicles that conform with Bharat Stage IV or above emission standards. These standards are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests and climate change, and are applicable for all motor vehicles.
Furthermore, Uber also plans on partnering institutions that financially help drivers buy Clean Fuel cars, as well as investing in R&D of “scalable Clean Fuel technology and infrastructure in Delhi and NCR.” Lastly, the company is also urging the government to encourage commuters to opt for carpooling or ridesharing to reduce the load on Delhi’s transport infrastructure.