Uber and Ola Cabs Face Restrictions in Delhi Based on Specific Number Plates, Caution Advised for Riders During Booking


As a countermeasure to escalating air pollution, Delhi enforces a prohibition on non-local registered cabs affiliated with app-based services such as Uber and Ola. Additionally, authorities recommend residents minimize outdoor activities and employ air purifiers to safeguard against detrimental pollutants

During this seasonal period characterized by dense smoke and pollution in the Delhi NCR region, primarily caused by agricultural waste burning and other sources, reports indicate that the situation is more severe this year than in the past decade. In response to the escalating air quality crisis, the Delhi government, on Wednesday, enacted a ban on the entry of non-Delhi registered commercial cabs booked through Ola, Uber, and other taxi aggregator apps into the national capital. This action aligns with the Supreme Court’s observation regarding the excessive number of taxis operating in Delhi, many of which are registered in other states. The Supreme Court had previously recommended restricting taxi operations to vehicles registered within the city.

The government emphasized that despite the restrictions imposed under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) Stage IV due to severe air pollution, polluting vehicles continued to enter the city unabated.

While the detailed order regarding the ban is pending, Uber, a major cab aggregator with a fleet of over tens of cabs in Delhi, asserted that it is already complying with all pollution protocols to provide environmentally friendly transportation. Uber mentioned in an official statement to India Today Tech, ‘We haven’t received any order from the transport department, but we want to reiterate that all Uber cars in Delhi are CNG or electric, and shared mobility helps more people commute in fewer cars.’

The ban is anticipated to be immediately effective, and the Delhi government has called on all app-based taxi aggregators, including Ola, Uber, and Rapido, to adhere to the new regulation. This entails verifying the registration numbers of all taxis on their platforms and ensuring that only DL-registered vehicles are permitted to operate in Delhi.

While some commuters may experience minor inconveniences due to reduced taxi availability, the long-term benefits for Delhi’s air quality are anticipated to be significant. The government is also actively working on expanding public transportation options, such as the metro, to facilitate easier commuting for residents.

Simultaneously, the Delhi government has introduced an odd-even vehicle policy to mitigate pollution. Currently, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi and its suburbs is deteriorating, standing at around 400, with expectations of further worsening during the upcoming festive season. Commuters are advised to adjust their outdoor activities and take appropriate precautions to protect themselves from harmful airborne pollutants.

To minimize exposure to harmful pollutants, individuals are encouraged to:

  1. Reduce outdoor activities, especially during peak pollution hours.
  2. Use high-quality air purifiers to filter out harmful pollutants.
  3. Consider using portable air purifiers in vehicles to prevent harmful smoke inhalation.
  4. Wear masks when outdoors, particularly for those with respiratory sensitivities.
  5. Utilize air filter masks and other gadgets to enhance personal protection.

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