Diesel cab ban may force BPO firms out of India, SC told

06 May 2016


The union government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the sudden shortage of taxis in Delhi-NCR due to the court-imposed ban on petrol and diesel cabs has raised safety and security concerns for women working at odd hours in places like Business Process Management (formerly BPO) centres, and these may even be forced to shift out of India.

"The sudden implementation of the ban means that BPOs do not have sufficient cabs to pick up and drop their staff, especially the female staff. If the problem persists, the BPOs may shift out of India," Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur.

Kumar said the Centre, like the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Admi Party government in Delhi, will soon file an application seeking more time to get 30,000 taxis off the roads which are running on diesel or petrol and not on CNG as mandated by the court. The Centre hinted that it also preferred a gradual phase-out instead of a ban at one go.

When the bench told Kumar that the "BPOs always had the option of hiring CNG buses to ferry their staff'', the SG replied that it causes security problems. Women have to be dropped to their home and ''it is not practically possible with a bus".

The bench asked the Centre to file an application and said it would be heard together with a similar plea filed by the Delhi government on Monday. On 3 May, the Delhi government had moved court with a similar plea after which the court gave it two days' time to come out with a phase-out plan.

The Kejriwal government's petition came after protests by taxi owners crippled traffic in Delhi for the second straight day.

"We are committed to tackling pollution as your Lordship is aware of various steps the government is taking but in this case a crisis has arisen," the state government told SC during a hearing on its request seeking implementation of the ban on diesel cabs in a phased manner.

"We also don't intend to cause a human problem, but whenever these steps are taken, it does lead to some initial inconvenience," Thakur had said.

"Come up with a detailed and workable plan on phasing out diesel cabs and converting them to CNG. We will examine it," SC said.

The Delhi government's request was necessitated by protests by angry cab drivers who blocked major highways including the DND expressway, bringing peak-hour traffic to a standstill.

The court initially refused to admit the plea on the mere grounds of protests by taxi owners saying, "If ten persons come together it's not a matter for us to intervene."

Earlier this week, industry body Nasscom had said the ban on diesel taxis would cost BPM firms a loss of $1 billion if it continued for two or three weeks. (See: BPM sector facing $1-bn loss due to diesel cab ban: Nasscom).

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more