You may soon get to see more black and yellow taxis on the road, as the chief minister Prithviraj Chavan-led transport department has decided to revive lapsed or ‘dead’ permits.
Taxi permits have to be renewed every five years, and in case this is not done, the permit is declared lapsed or dead. Once a taxi’s permit is lapsed, it cannot ply on the road, and this has lead to a reduction in the number of taxis.
The transport department has initiated the process to bring these taxis back on the roads. “A separate set of guidelines are under consideration for reviving these dead taxi permits,” said SK Sharma, Transport Secretary.
Once these come into place, it would help increase the availability of taxis in the city, to the relief of both commuters as well as the taxi union.
Recently, the taxi union had submitted a letter to the transport department, asking for the lapsed permits to be revived. “Transport department officials had assured as that they would open the permits,” said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
Over the years, the number of taxis on the road has come down from 56,000 to 42,000. To make matters worse for commuters, only 36,000 taxis ply on the road at any given time and the remaining are under maintenance.
However, the new guidelines could impede the auto rickshaw union’s plan of venturing into the island city. Sources in the regional transport office (RTO) said that if the number of taxis would rise, the auto rickshaw union’s demand to enter the island city would be subdued. The Sharad Rao-led Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Men’s Union has been demanding the entry of rickshaws into the island city.