More than 6,000 out of 40,000 black-and-yellow taxis in Mumbai may go off the roads. This is because the state’s transport authorities are planning to bring down the maximum age of taxis plying in the city from 25 years to 20, and also convert all taxi meters to electronic ones by the end of 2013.
“Several passengers complain that they have to travel in rickety, stinking cabs which are more than two decades old. If commuters are paying for a cab ride, the vehicles need to be in proper condition,” said a top transport official, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Transport authorities admit there would be a temporary fall in the number of cabs, but expect that once the decision is implemented taxi permit owners will quickly get new vehicles in place of the old ones.
Transport officials said the proposal would be finalised and then submitted to the State Transport Authority (STA) for its approval. When contacted, Shailesh Sharma, transport secretary, said he had not yet received the proposal from Transport Commissioner’s office.