960 tourist cab drivers penalised for flouting rulesUpdated: Nov 02, 2019 00:37 IST
The Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Department (MMVD) recently conducted a major drive against the tourist cabs plying at the airport, and took action against 960 of them for flouting various rules. Several of the penalised tourist cabs were associated with popular app-based taxi aggregators, said regional transport office (RTO) personnel.
RTO officials said they collected compounding fees of around ₹3.5 lakh from the offenders and have recommended the permits of tourist cabs, whose drivers were without badges or licence, be suspended.
Shekhar Channe, transport commissioner of Maharashtra, said the drive was undertaken after receiving complaints from passengers. The drive has been paused for a brief period owing to Diwali.
“We are going to continue the drive again, though it is currently paused,” Channe said.
Two flying squads from the transport commissioner’s office were roped in for the drive that lasted five days in the first phase. An RTO official said they checked around 2,000 tourist cabs plying at the Mumbai airport, of which around 960 were found flouting rules.
The official said that in around 500 cases, the cab drivers were found driving without public service badges, mandatory for driving public service vehicles like taxis, autos and buses. Around 150 drivers were without driving licence, while others were penalised for not wearing proper uniform, lacking proper documents or maintaining a log.
“If such vehicles are involved in an accident, insurance companies can deny claims on grounds like the driver was without a badge or licence,” said another senior RTO official.
Recently, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority decided to suspend the permits of vehicles for a year if the owners allow drivers without public service badges to ply the vehicle. The authority also decided to cancel permits if the driver is a repeat offender.
Public service badges are issued to drivers who have been residents of Mumbai for at least 15 years and have a valid licence. According to RTO officials, a driver wearing the badge indicates that he or she has a good character and does not hold a criminal record.