Taxi and Auto Rickshaw unions have just ten days to get their act together or get ready to face punishment.
The state government has given cabbies a timeframe to co-operate with commuters, after which the state transport department and the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) will start their crackdown.
At a meeting with the unions, Home Minister RR Patil referred to the recent ‘Meter Jam’ campaign and asked representatives of both unions to instruct their drivers not to refuse fares.
“It has been found that taxi and auto rickshaw drivers refuse short distance fares, inconveniencing commuters.
This results in complaints from commuters. Such irresponsible behaviour by drivers should stop,” RR Patil said during the meeting.
“If drivers stop refusing fares and follow proper traffic rules then there would not be an opportunity for people to complain.”
The government has also asked the transport department to scrap all illegal taxis and auto rickshaws running on expired permits and wrong licences.
The transport department has already started their crackdown on such vehicles and on the first day, August 25, they confiscated 59 auto rickshaws without permits.
They checked 350 permits and licences across the western and eastern suburbs.
They have already picked up around 800 illegal taxis across Mumbai.
The transport department had decided to start a drive, from September 1, against auto and taxi drivers refusing fares. On August 14, Hindustan Times first reported about the
transport department’s plan, soon after the daylong ‘Meter Jam’ campaign ended.
The department will soon be posting plainclothes officers from RTOs at various locations where the maximum complaints of refusal to ply have been received.
Patil has also asked the transport department to start 80 new share-a-rickshaw and taxi stands across Mumbai.
“The Municipal Corporation will have to make arrangements for these stands by providing adequate space in the next one month,” Patil said.
“And, in the next three months, sixty such stands should be identified,” Patil added.