Cabbies block major roads, Delhi traffic goes for a toss

Following SC’s decision to ban diesel taxis in the national capital, owners are protesting against police action

New Delhi: Motorists across national capital groaned under traffic woes yesterday as hundreds of cab drivers blocked National Highway 8 and ring road, protesting against action by enforcement agencies following the Supreme Court’s decision to ban diesel taxis in Delhi.

Taxi drivers and owners shout slogans as they block a road during a protest in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI
Taxi drivers and owners shout slogans as they block a road during a protest in New Delhi yesterday. Pic/PTI

In the early hours, a group of protesters blocked both carriageways near the Rajokri tollbooth on National Highway 8, which led to a long tailback stretching over a kilometre in the area, traffic officials said.

The situation worsened around 11.30 am when the protesters blocked both carriageways on the Ring Road stretch at Maharani Bagh, close to Ashram Chowk. In no time, traffic was thrown out-of-gear in Dhaulakuan, Kapashera and Mehrauli, and the chaos continued for hours. The congestion largely affected thousands of office-goers, who travel between Delhi and Gurgaon via NH-8, and the traffic helpline was bombarded with calls from distressed commuters, officials said.

The second blockade directly hit traffic in areas including Sarai Kale Khan, Ashram, near PGDAV College in Nehru Nagar, Lajpat Nagar and Moolchand stretching up to AIIMS.

Commenting on the protest, Sanjay Samrat, president of Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association, said, “We will continue our protest until the authorities forbid police and transport department officials from penalising us as we have an All India permit which is exempted from the ban. We are only asking for exemption which we have already been given.”

Govt impounds taxis
The Delhi government yesterday impounded as many as 39 taxis belonging to app-based cab aggregators like Uber for invoking surge pricing, a day after CM Arvind Kejriwal warned of strong action. Also, Delhi transport Minister Gopal Rai also announced a dedicated helpline for passengers to lodge complaints.

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