While Mumbai police on Tuesday asked all taxi and auto drivers to go through the verification process again, the trade unions have refused to do so, claiming their members underwent the check while getting badges and permits.
“We have asked the state transport department to ensure every cab and auto driver undergoes police verification and is registered with the local police. The rule applies to private cabs too,” said BK Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police, traffic.
AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union, said, “The drivers of black-and-yellow taxis and cool cabs have already gone through the process while getting permits and badges. Why go through a check the second time?”
Thampy Kurien, general secretary of Mumbai Rickshawmen’s Union, said, “The drivers and owners of tourist taxis need to go for police verification. Our members have badges and permits. They are registered with the RTO.”
Some unions and radio taxi associations want tourist taxi operators such as Uber, Ola, Gini cab and Meru plus to be banned. “We have been demanding that cabs operated through call centres and apps should be banned,” said Quadros.
“They [technology companies such as Uber, Ola and TaxiforSure] follow an aggregation model and operate taxi services without seeking a licence from the state transport authority,” said the radio taxi association, in its statement.
KK Tiwari, union president, Swabhiman Sanghatana, said, “Only the companies that come under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act should be allowed to operate in the city. We have submitted a letter with our demand.” Anand Subramanian, director, marketing communications, Ola, said, “We are committed to the safety of all passengers who trust Ola, as their booking platform of choice for personal transportation. We ensure our partner driver, who is using our software, passes the stringent compliance check of his (KYC) personal and professional papers.”
The spokesperson for TaxiforSure said, “TaxiforSure has not received any official communication from the authorities of Delhi on stopping our partner vehicles. We will work with the government to ensure the convenience and safety of people.”