Since 2012, while you have been subjected to three auto and taxi fare hikes in Mumbai, one measure — roof-top indicators — that could make your commute easier still remains on paper.
The colour-coded indicators with LED lights indicate whether a vehicle is free or occupied. It promised to bring down the rampant fare refusals, as according to the proposal, a vacant vehicle will have to ply as per the commuter’s request.
However, it seems you will have to continue haggling with drivers, as the transport department is moving at a snail’s pace with the proposal.
The project, which was proposed in 2012, saw a stir only in January 2014 when the transport department issued a draft notification inviting suggestion and objections from people.
Then after a lull of another six months, the transport commissioner’s office sent a final draft of the notification to the state government in June 2014.
Thereafter, the file moved only when the new government came to power in Maharashtra, only to hit a roadblock again after the transport minister Diwakar Raote insisted that the word taxi should be written in the Devnagri script at the back of the indicator.
That was three months ago and we are still awaiting further action.
Sources in Mantralaya said they have sought the transport commissioner’s opinion on the changes proposed by Raote. “The file is pending with the transport commissioner office for more than a month,” said the source.
The delay has invited the ire of transport and consumer activists. “The state government is only interested in hiking fares, but doesn’t bother about providing any facilities to the passengers,” said Varsha Raut, a consumer activist.
At present, around 40,000 taxis and one lakh autorickshaws ply on city roads. According to the draft notification, the existing taxis and autos will have to install the indicators while renewing their fitness certificates, whereas new vehicles will have to fix them at the time of registration.