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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Auto, cab, bus owners to lose permit if driver caught without badge

mumbai Updated: Sep 22, 2019 23:57 IST
Hindustantimes
         

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA) recently decided that owners of public transport vehicles will lose their permit for a year if they allow drivers without public service badges to ply the vehicle. The authority said if the driver is a repeat offender, his permit will be cancelled.

The move comes after RTO officials recently caught over 6,000 drivers plying their autorickshaws without wearing badges or carrying driving licences. In the meeting, the authority chaired by the transport secretary also suspended permits of six autorickshaws for a year.

“The rule will be applicable across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Such stringent action will encourage the permit holders to allow only genuine drivers to ply vehicles,” a senior RTO official said. The new rule will be applicable to autorickshaws, black and yellow taxis, private and government buses, app-based taxis and tourist taxis.

According to MMRTA’s decision, for the first offence, RTOs will have to suspend the permit for a year, remove the fare meter of a vehicle, inform the police station about the suspension and warn the permit holder about not plying the vehicle during the suspension period. If the driver does not comply, his permit will be cancelled permanently.

In 2017, besides a penalty of ₹500 each on the owner and driver, MMRTA had decided to suspend permits of owners if drivers without a public service badge were found plying their vehicles.

Public service badges are issued to autorickshaw drivers who have been residents of Mumbai for at least 15 years and have a valid licence. According to the RTO officials, a driver wearing the badge indicates that the person has good character and does not have a criminal record. Though private buses and government-owned buses fall under public service vehicles, RTO officials are doubtful about applying this rule to government or BEST-run buses.