More than a year after the draft notification was issued, the transport department is yet to issue a final notification specifying the rules for rooftop indicators for taxi and autorickshaws. The indicators are expected to bring down the number of fare refusals.
The idea of putting up ‘for hire’ indicators atop taxis and autorickshaws was proposed in 2012. The colour-coded indicators, with LED lights, will help passengers know if the vehicle is vacant or occupied.
Around 40,000 taxis and 6lakh autorickshaws ply on roads across the state. The state government has plans to make the indicators mandatory for all newly-registered taxis first, which will then be followed by autorickshaws.
Before deciding on making the indicators mandatory, the department had invited suggestions and objections from passengers’ associations, consumer activists and union. Based on the suggestions, the transport commissioner’s office had sent a final draft of notification to the state government last June. Sources said on inquiring about the final notification, which is yet to be issued, they were told it is pending with the language directorate for translation.
According to the draft notification, the existing taxis and autos will have to install the indicators at the time renewal of fitness certificates, whereas new vehicles will have to fix them at the time of registration.
The state government has already put a pre-condition in permit rules, which states cabbies and auto drivers will have to install the indicators whenever the government decides.
Transport secretary Gautam Chatterjee said, “I am unaware about the issue. Since you have brought it to my notice, I will certainly look into the issue and take necessary steps.”