Three days after a 22-year-old Gurgaon pub employee was allegedly raped by a cab driver, a video purportedly exposing an entire fleet of private vehicles doubling-up as commercial taxis in south Delhi’s Mehrauli has forced the Delhi Police to take notice.
The video depicts drivers calling out to pedestrians at the Chhatarpur Metro station on Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, with close to two dozen privately-registered Maruti Omni vans parked in the background.
The video was shot and uploaded on the Delhi Traffic Police's Facebook page on Thursday by Amit Raj Gulati, a Delhi resident.
“The area where I shot the video had substantial traffic police presence. Besides, a PCR van from the local police station was parked a few metres away. Since these vehicles are not registered as cabs, what will the police do if some untoward incident happens to someone travelling in one of them,” Gulati said.
On the night of December 13, an employee of Last Chance, a pub at Gurgaon's Sahara Mall, was allegedly raped by the driver of a cab that she had boarded to her Kishangarh residence, without prior booking.
On their part, the traffic police claim to have prosecuted 1,561 private vehicles being used for commercial purposes till December 15 this year. Only 1,086 vehicles had been fined for the same offence during the same period in 2010.
"We are aware about the problem. It cannot exist without the connivance of traffic police officers. A team will be deployed in the area soon and those found providing private vehicles as taxis will be prosecuted," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
Meanwhile, traffic police sources claim that the department has written to the state transport department to make permit violation a criminal offence.
"If all goes as per the plan, soon permit violators will be booked for cheating the entire state under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. The complainant, in these cases, will be the state," said a senior traffic police officer.