New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s ban on plying diesel and petrol driven taxis in Delhi took effect yesterday, with three taxi owners warning this might lead to suicides out of frustration in the future.

Representation pic/Thinkstock
Representation pic/Thinkstock

Cab operators termed the apex court’s decision tyrannical, saying if the decision was not changed then it will lead many of them to commit suicide. Over 27,000 taxis run on diesel alone in Delhi.

The cab operators said they had decided to launch a protest after mutual consultations. They claimed that almost half the taxis were run on diesel in the national capital. “I have cancelled 17 bookings since morning as most of my taxis run on diesel. I have only five taxis that run on CNG. We do not understand why the court and government come up with such decisions?” said S Kumar, owner of Kumar Taxi Services in central Delhi.

He said the apex court decision of Saturday would result in mass suicide, as several taxi operators won’t be able to pay their vehicle loan instalments. “How do we pay our monthly instalments to banks for the loans taken to buy taxis? Does not the government realize that diesel cars can't be converted into CNG?” Kumar said.

The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to give more time to taxi operators to switch to the cleaner compressed natural gas (CNG). The deadline for the change, which had been extended twice, was Saturday.