The Telegraph. In a bid to clean up Calcutta’s air, the West Bengal state government is planning to phase out diesel taxis and replace them with cars operating on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
“We’ve told taxi unions that the government plans to phase out diesel taxis to clean Calcutta’s air. For this, we have to convert diesel models into LPG-run vehicles, the way Delhi had switched to CNG,” said Hridyesh Mohan, transport joint secretary and director, public vehicles directorate (PVD), on Sunday.
The PVD is now issuing permits only to LPG-run taxis. “Even in cases where old taxis are replaced with new ones, only LPG-run vehicles will be okayed,” Mohan added.
Only 15 to 20 per cent of the 34,000-plus taxis operating in the Calcutta Metropolitan Area (CMA)—that too, mostly of recent make—comply with the emission norms prescribed by the Centre.
West Bengal is the fourth-most populous state in India, with 80.2 million people. The Calcutta (Kolkata) Metropolitan Area has, as of the 2001 census, 15 million residents.