The case filed by the Mumbai Taxi Chalak Malak, a union of taxi owners and drivers, not only opposes the state policy to not renew permits of taxis that are more than 25 years old, it also opposes the move to allow more fleet taxi services.
The petition said that due to the introduction of various public transportation schemes, taxi drivers were unable to get sufficient business.
“If permits are [given to fleet taxi services], Mumbai would be crowded with 26,000 more taxis, causing further traffic problems. At the same time, existing [drivers] who hardly have any business would be further deprived of income,” said the petition.
Ashok Saraogi, the union’s advocate, argued before a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice RV More that black-and-yellow taxi drivers were dealt another blow because of the government’s decision to renew permits of taxis less than 25 years old and allow luxurious cabs.
However, the court did not see much logic in the argument. Justice Desai remarked: “… but the common man is not complaining about it.”
According to the PIL, there were 55,000 taxis in the city in 1997 after permits were acquired from the Union Government. The number has shrunk to 29,000 following the government’s new policy.
The court will hear the case next on October 13.