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Big firms to run taxis in Delhi

The Transport Department is planning to streamline the taxi service in the city, reports Amitabh Shukla.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 20:14 IST

The Transport Department is planning to streamline the taxi service in the city. The big idea is to involve companies into the process and do away with individual ownership.

This would make them accountable for any lapses and would also curb instances of over charging, rude behaviour and crime. The complaint redressal mechanism too would become streamlined.

Revealing the new policy, Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf told HT that three multinational car rental companies, including Hertz, have been approached with a proposal to run 500 taxis each. "We are in the process of finalising the terms and conditions and how to go about the entire exercise," he said.

Yusuf said that a modern public transport system in which taxis would play an important role would be in place before the Commonwealth Games. "We are committed to change the way people commute in the city by 2010," the minister stated.

The department has identified certain problems in the way taxis commute in the city. Firstly, you cannot flag down a taxi in Delhi like the other cities of the world. Secondly, a stranger to the city cannot find a taxi stand or telephone numbers. Moreover, there is no corresponding growth as compared to demand. The department also feels that individual ownership of taxis is not conducive to discipline enforcement.

For the existing taxis (around 5000) under individual ownership, there is a plan to form cooperatives of around 500-1000 taxis each. "Once these old taxis are phased out after they complete 15 years, a brand new fleet can be expected in the city," said an official.

Officials have found that the existing fleet of three wheelers and taxis is inadequate for a city having a population of around 1.5 crore. At present, only 54 thousand auto rickshaws are registered in the city and of these hardly 40-45 thousand ply in the peak office hours.

Shaping up 3 MNCs, including Hertz, have been approached with a proposal to run 500 taxis each 5,000 taxis under individual ownership to be brought under co-operative umbrella.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 20:14 IST