The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has issued a directive to all union territories to ban the plying of web-based radio cabs in wake of a taxi driver raping a woman in Delhi. Web cabs are booked through the internet.
Sources in the UT administration said following the directive, a major drive will be launched to apprehend unauthorised radio taxi operators across the city. Special nakas will be set up to intercept these taxi operators.
The administration has also decided to send notices to private taxi operators to get proper verification of their drivers to avoid action.
The details of each driver will also be required to be given to the State Transport Authority (STA).
At present 3,000 taxi operators and three radio taxi operators — Mega cabs, Fab cabs and RBTS — are registered with the STA as per the 2006 Radio Taxi Scheme.
STA secretary Satish Jain said the notices were being sent to all operators to furnish details of the drivers at the earliest, besides ensuring that GPS was in functioning condition in their vehicles to avoid challans.
This year, so far 318 challans have been issued to taxi drivers for not possessing proper documents or licence. In last two days itself, 30 taxi drivers have been issued challans for various violations.
In 2012, as many as 337 challans were issued, followed by 388 in 2013.
Meanwhile, the UT police have also issued instructions to the cab operators to get the verification done. They have procured data of registered cab owners from the administration.
UT senior superintendent of police (SSP) Sukhchain Singh Gill said, “We have issued series of instructions to taxi operators. However, women should be careful before boarding a taxi. They should inform their friends and family about the taxi number, and the location from where the cab has been hired.”
UT administration’s hands are tied when it comes to suspending the plying of private radio cabs across the city as they are not registered with it. The only action the administration can take against the unauthorised cab companies is challan them. The first challan is of Rs 5,000 if the taxi is plying without proper documents; and if the same cab is found violating the rules again then it is fined Rs 10,000. Sources in the STA said there were several taxi operators functioning without getting registered. The operators were not purchasing vehicles, but hiring them on rent, and did not even display any advertisement to indicate that it was a taxi.