Lalbaug resident and taxi driver Mohan Kadam, 60, repents leasing out his permit to a fleet taxi company. Not only did he lose his permit in the process, but also his sole source of income.
Despite visits to the Tardeo Regional Transport Office (RTO) at Tardeo, Kadam has neither got a duplicate permit nor has the existing one been renewed.
Many others who had leased out their permits to Mumbai gold cabs (MGC) — whose licence was cancelled by the State Transport Authority (STA) in 2010 — have also suffered the same fate.
“Despite repeated reminders, the MGC did not renew our permits in 2009. Although there is a binding legal agreement, we have not been paid a penny since,” said Kadam.
Taxi unions are now demanding stern action against promoters of MGC along with duplicate permits for those who have been cheated. “Criminal cases should be filed against fleet taxi companies,” said AL Quadros, leader, Mumbai Taximens Union.
Before MGC’s licence was cancelled, it had procured more than 125 taxi permits from individual permit holders.
According to taxi unions, the transport commissioner’s office had directed the RTOs to issue duplicate permits to those who had given their permits to the MGC. However, RTO officials refused to do so, on the basis of a Regional Transport Authority (RTA) decision which said that permits cancelled more than six months ago cannot be renewed.
Arun Sabnis, an MGC promoter did not respond to repeated telephone calls. Transport commissioner VN More was also not available for comment.