‘Mobility lockdown’: Uber reacts to possible ban on entry of cabs into Delhi

  • Delhi is battling against toxic air quality which is often also blamed on vehicular emissions.
File photo of an Uber taxi on the move in Delhi. (Hindustan Times)
File photo of an Uber taxi on the move in Delhi.

Uber has fired a letter to Delhi Lt Governor VK Saxena against the possibility of a temporary ban on entry into the capital city for cabs registered in other states. Underlining that it could lead to compounding travel-related issues during the Odd-Even rule that will come into effect from November 13, the ride-hailing app-based company stated that a more scientific approach needs to be taken.

Delhi is battling against toxic air quality which is often also blamed on vehicular emissions. The Delhi government has plans of enforcing the Odd-Even traffic rule from November 13 but the Supreme Court has termed it as mere ‘optics.’ Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai informed that the city government's transport department had also been directed to ban app-based taxis "in accordance with the Supreme Court's orders". While officials add that details of the order are awaited, Uber has pointed to its fleet of cleaner-energy cabs.

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In its letter to LG Saxena, Uber mentions that its fleet of vehicles in Delhi make use of CNG technology. “We would like to bring to your attention that every single one of the 70,000 cars on the Uber platform across Delhi-NCR runs on clean fuel -- CNG or electric -- as opposed to private vehicles which run on petrol or diesel which are the more polluting fuels. Any shift from private vehicles to CNG or electric cabs would only abate the pollution by encouraging people to move to cleaner fuels."

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The cab aggregator also pointed to studies that show contribution of vehicular emissions to the overall pollution levels in Delhi is rather small. “We also note that a recent study conducted by the Delhi Technological University found that less than 2 per cent of the air pollution in the national capital could be attributed to four-wheelers, implying that there is a need to concentrate on other polluting factors which have a significant impact on emissions."

The most critical part may be about the potential inconvenience to people in the city if cabs are prevented from entering Delhi. “Apart from the negligible impact on emissions, this move would be a huge unnecessary inconvenience to the people of the NCR region. The Delhi-NCR region encompasses several districts surrounding Delhi from the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, which make movement restrictions impractical and hard to execute," the letter reads. “This would be akin to mobility lockdown for citizens of Delhi-NCR who would be left in the lurch if they need to access critical infrastructure like the airport, railway stations and even major hospitals."

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published Date: 10 Nov 2023, 12:04 PM IST

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