The ban on diesel cabs in Delhi seems to have hit the IT and BPO industries of Gurgaon hard, with most officegoers struggling to reach their workplaces on time.
The IT and BPO professionals have called the ban unfair and sudden, saying it did not give companies enough time to make a smooth transition to alternative modes of transport.
“The Supreme Court ban on diesel taxis is a step towards protecting the environment, and we support that," said Simarjeet Srivastava, MD of an IT firm in the city. "However, with the ban enforced almost overnight, we weren't allowed to arrange for travel alternatives. It's unfair to impose such a big change on the common man, especially when the city's public-transport system is lacking."
Gurgaon has more than 3,000 BPO and IT firms, and almost all of them are dependent on diesel cabs. Now, with the ban in place, most companies are finding it difficult to acquire CNG-run cabs, which are in high demand and hence not readily available on the market.
Meanwhile, diesel-taxi operators from Delhi and Gurgaon on Tuesday morning blocked NH8 at Sirhaul commercial toll plaza, leading to a huge traffic jam that blocked more than 4 km on both sides. They demanded a rollback of the decision, threatening to go on a complete strike and halting all commercial operations in Delhi/NCR if their demand was not met in the next two days.
Supreme Court had earlier banned registration of diesel vehicles exceeding 2,000 cc capacity. Registration of vehicles with a lower capacity, however, was allowed, causing a number of operators and private companies to buy diesel vehicles on bank loans.
“I have bought 65 diesel cabs, with 90 per cent of the vehicles bought on loan. I pay Rs 8 lakh as EMI. With a ban on diesel cabs, these vehicles are useless to me. How are people like me supposed to repay the loans we have taken?" said Sunil Sharma, a taxi operator based in Gurgaon.