In a bid to ensure only valid licence and permit holders ply on Mumbai roads, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), in its recent meeting, decided to fix radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on autorickshaws and taxis.
Currently, more than 40,000 taxis and 1 lakh autorickshaws are registered with the transport authority. According to autorickshaw unions, more than 30,000 illegal autorickshaws are plying on city roads, affecting their business and maligning their image. Taking note of the issue, the MMRTA committee, chaired by state transport secretary Gautam Chatterjee, decided to ask regional transport offices (RTOs) to come up with a procedure to fix the tags.
“Once the permit expires, the vehicle should be scrapped. Some owners, however, seek permission to take the vehicle out of the city, while they continue plying it on city roads,” said a transport officer, on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The official said the tags will have information of the vehicle such as engine number, chassis number, registration number and permit details, and will be stuck to the windscreen of taxis and autorickshaws. RFID readers will be installed at CNG refuelling centres, among other spots. Whenever a vehicle with an expired permit passes through, it will be identified and the driver will not get fuel at CNG pumps.
Autorickshaw unions have been demanding RFID tags for a long time. The tags have been made compulsory for those applying for new permits.