The island city may soon see a drop in the number of black-and-yellow taxis plying on the roads.
More than 2,200 taxi permits may be cancelled for non-renewal within the stipulated deadline.
In 2010, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) had reduced the renewal time from two years to six months.
With the state government still to take a decision on the 14,000 cancelled permits in the city, taxi unions fear more cancellation will make the situation difficult.
The transport authorities have so far cancelled 18,127 taxi permits — 10,416 from Tardeo RTO, 5,765 from Andheri and 1,946 from Wadala RTO. Although the state government re-issued 4,000 permits to a fleet taxi company in 2011, the decision about the remaining 14,127 is still pending.
A Tardeo RTO official said they had recently found that more than 2,200 taxi permits were yet to be renewed.
As per procedure, the RTO will now serve show-cause notices to all permit holders, who will have to give a reply within a stipulated time. If the officials are no convinced by the explanation for non-renewal of the permit, a proposal will be sent to the MMRTA, which will take the final call on cancellation of permits, the official said.
Currently, there are only about 44,000 taxis in the city.
The Mumbai Taximen’s Union (MTU) claimed the MMRTA’s move to reduce time was responsible for the large number of cancellations.
AL Quadros, leader of the union, said, “If MMRTA cancels 2,200 permits, it will drastically reduce the number of taxis on city roads. There is already a huge gap in demand and supply. Passengers won’t get taxis during peak hours and then the drivers will be blamed.”
Quadros said in such a situation they would be forced to keep taxis off roads.
Before the state government had stopped issuing taxi and auto permits in 1997, 60,338 taxi permits were issued from the three RTO offices. Of these, 38,249 were issued from Tardeo RTO.