Women employees to bear brunt of ban on diesel cabs
Women Employees to Bear
Brunt of Ban on Diesel Cabs
Move may endanger safety of female staff working at BPOs
and call centres in NCR as diesel-powered taxis are used to
The Supreme Court's order banning nonCNG cabs from Delhi roads has
raised concerns over the safety of women who work on late shifts and
depend on company-provided doorstep pickup and drop facility, as well as
the livelihood of hundreds of small-time taxi operators. But automakers like
Maruti Suzuki don't expect the order to hurt them like the previous one
banning the sale of large diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region. Taxi
aggregators Ola and Uber too aren't expecting any problem, because the
companies say they operate only CNG vehicles in the capital. Some cab
owners, however, warn that the ban may drive them to suicide. Employees
working at BPOs and call centres of multinational companies are likely to be
affected the most, as the cabs that offices in ferried them to offices in
Gurgaon and Noida are mostly diesel-powered and cannot enter Delhi
anymore.Their employers are making alternative arrangements, said several
employees ET spoke to, but they are still concerned about the safety issue.
The companies couldn't be contacted on Sunday for comment.
“We received a communication that only female employees who work in shifts
between 8 pm and 7 am would be provided pickup and drop through a company
vehicle,“ said a Gurgaon-based employee at a financial services company . “This will
be very inconvenient and unsafe for us female employees, especially in a city like
Gurgaon which has limited public transport and is not exactly safe after dark,“ she
An employee at Genpact BPO said her company has arranged for shuttle buses to
pick up staff across Delhi, Gurgaon, and Faridabad. But the companies will still have
to make arrangements for cars to transport women who work on late shifts.
“As the industry complies with the Shops & Establishment Act, employees,
especially women working beyond 8 pm, need to be picked up and dropped back to
their doorstep. Taxis play a major role in ensuring this, something that is difficult to
achieve through bus service or any other public transport,“ IT services industry
body Nasscom said in a recent note on the issue.
The Genpact employee said on basis of need, cabs will be available to
women. Delhi already had in place a ban on non-CNG commercial vehicles,
but taxis under the so-called all India tourist permits were allowed to be
registered on the basis that they were to take tourists to destinations outside
the city . About half the 80,000 taxis in Delhi are estimated to be registered
under this category and are diesel-run. These are also used by many to travel
within the NCR.
These cabs will now have to be taken off the Delhi roads. There aren't any
cost-effective solutions to retrofit CNG kits into diesel cars -for petrol,
however, CNG kits are available for as low as `. 25,000.
“The cost is prohibitive,“ said SP Singh, senior fellow at the Indian
Foundation for Transport Research & Training. “It . 2 lakh to con . 1.75 lakh to
` costs ` vert diesel taxis to CNG. And, there is no infrastructure to convert
S Kumar, owner of Kumar Taxi Services in central Delhi, told news agency
IANS that the court's decision will lead many taxi operators to commit
suicide as they won't be able to pay their car instalments now. “How do we
pay our monthly installments to banks for the loans taken to buy taxis? Does
not the government realise that diesel cars can't be converted into CNG,“ he
Transport department officials said cabs with all India permit will still be
allowed to run on tourist routes that are not local. Diesel cabs that are
operated by hotels will also not be affected.
But implementation of the order will be a challenge.
“It will be very difficult to ascertain if there's a violation because how do you
know whether the taxi plying is carrying a tourist or is operating as an app
based city cab.
However, we'll ensure no taxi with all India tourist permit operates in the city,“
Delhi traffic police Chief Sandeep Goel said told ET.
Meanwhile, auto industry executives said there was nothing new in the order.
“ All vehicles in commercial use including three-wheelers were always supposed to
run on CNG (in Delhi). There may be operators who are violating this but it does not
impact us,“ Maruti Chairman RC Bhargava said. N Raja, senior V-P of sales and
marketing at Toyota Kirloskar, said diesel cars that are part of large taxi operators
will likely be moved to nonNCR regions. “The ruling will hurt the individual owner
cum-taxi-driver the most,“ he said. Sanjay Samrat, president of the Delhi Taxi
Tourist Transport Association, told ET that the taxi owners will stage a protest
outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's house and also the Delhi Police
headquarters. He said the traffic police and state transport department were
harassing and challaning them unnecessarily since the court order.
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