More than 10 months after the draft to install root-top indicators on taxis was sent to the state government, it has not been approved. Reason: transport minister Diwakar Raote wants the indicators to display the word ‘taxi’ in Marathi, along with in English.
The indicators are expected to help commuters, as they will be equipped with colour-coded signals to let people know if a vehicle is occupied, available or off-duty.
The transport department is now looking to accommodate the minister’s suggestion, an official said, so the proposal can be implemented.
Roate confirmed he wanted changes in the draft plan. “I always insist on the use of Marathi,” said Raote. He said he has also raised concerns about the possible misuse of the indicators by drivers, who may flash the off-duty sigh even when at work. “We want to make sure the indicators, meant for commuter’s convenience, do not end up causing them trouble.,” the minister said.
Before making the indicators mandatory, the transport department had invited suggestions from passengers’ associations, consumer activists and drivers’ unions. Based on these, the final draft was sent to the government last June.
The government resolution (GR) on the matter was first delayed because of the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Then it was stuck with the language directorate for translation for a longer time.
According to the draft notification, the existing taxis will have to install the indicators when they renew their fitness certificates, whereas new vehicles will have to fix them at the time of registration.
Around 50,000 taxis and 6 lakh autorickshaws ply the state’s roads. The government plans to make the indicators mandatory for all newly-registered taxis, and later extend it to autorickshaws.