All Maharashtra auto rickshaws, taxis must have police helpline numbers and permit details
The decision of the transport authority chaired by transport secretory Manoj Saunik in a recent meeting, is expected to prove helpful for the commuters in getting immediate help in case of emergencies, while travelling on 70,000 taxis and 7.5 lakh autos across the state.mumbai Updated: Aug 13, 2017 01:41 IST
The State Transport Authority (STA) has made it mandatory for taxi and auto rickshaw drivers to display police and regional transport offices (RTO) helplines along with details about their permit and driver in their vehicles.
The decision of the transport authority chaired by transport secretory Manoj Saunik in a recent meeting, is expected to prove helpful for the commuters in getting immediate help in case of emergencies, while travelling on 70,000 taxis and 7.5 lakh autos across the state.
The STA has asked the transport commissioner to design the sticker that will contain the details about permit holders and helplines in either Marathi or Hindi , but the authority has not set any deadline for displaying it.
For failure to display sticker, the auto or taxi permit holder will have to face a permit suspension for five days or pay a fine of Rs1,000. The punishment is suspension for 10 days or Rs3,000 fine for a second offence and for a third offence, it is 15 days suspension and Rs5,000 fine.
Though the activists have welcomed the decision, it has not gone down well among taxi and auto rickshaw unions. Union leaders have opposed the decision saying it will lead to unnecessary harassment of their members.
Two years before, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport authority, which is also chaired by the transport secretary, had decided that the cabbies and auto drivers in Metropolitan Region of Mumbai will have to display stickers bearing stickers, in July.
After initial implementation, RTO offices ignored the rule and hence most taxis and auto rickshaws can be seen without any such stickers. Hence, RTO sources skeptical about the implementation of the STA rule and fear that it will remain only on cards.
Welcoming the move, the activist said the transport department should also include fitness expiry date on the sticker. “Several taxis and autos plying on street are rickety in condition and many of those often break down. Hence, considering passenger safety it will prove helpful,” said GR Vora, citizen activist.
AL Quadros, veteran taxi union leader blamed that STA took this decision without taking the unions in confidence. “We do not have objection if government is providing the stickers, but we are not going to spend for those this time, “he said.