People who commute by taxis may be inconvenienced next week as the biggest taxi union in the city, Mumbai Taximen’s Union, has threatened to go on strike agitation on November 3.
The city has around 40,000 taxis of which 28,000 are in the island city. The union is demanding action on tourist vehicles for ferrying commuters within the city. The union members said this is eating into their business. Tourist vehicles have all-India permits, which is given them with the purpose of promoting tourism.
However, of late the black-and-yellow taxi drivers complained that tourist vehicles have been ferrying local passengers within the city, some even offering lower tariffs owing to which their business is being hit.
Black-and-yellow taxis charge Rs14.78 per km and minimum amount is Rs22 for 1.5kms, while tourist vehicle ferry commuters for as little as Rs8-10 per km, but the charges differ depending on the demand.
“We are supposed to follow all rules such as produce the annual fitness certificate for our vehicles, wear uniform, put up badges, install electronic meters and global positioning system (GPS) to stay in business. How can tourist taxi operators be allowed to ferry passengers without following any norms? Why this disparity?” said AL Quadros, general secretary of Mumbai Taxi Union.
The union has been demanding action on tourist vehicles since the beginning of the month. On October 1, the union had also conducted a demonstration at Bombay Central regional transport office (RTO) after which a meeting was held at the transport commissioner’s office. Though it was assured that action will be taken against them, no action was initiated, said the union members.
“We will discuss the issue in our general body meeting on November 1. Till then, if there is no action on tourist vehicles is taken, we will go on strike on November 3,” Quadros added.
Meanwhile, the union demanded that tourist vehicle drivers should be also compelled to follow the motor vehicle act like wearing uniform, putting identity card and badges.