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‘Will apply policy on age limit of autos, taxis uniformly in Maharashtra’: Govt

In 2013, Maharashtra had fixed the age limit of autos in Mumbai to 16 years and that of taxis to 20 years, beyond which they would be scrapped.

mumbai Updated: Jul 14, 2019 06:45 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Maharashtra,Maharashtra government,Maharashtra auto
After the Bombay high court (HC) rapped the state government on Thursday for selectively applying a policy on age limit of commercial vehicles such as autos and taxis, to certain districts, the state said it will be implemented uniformly across Maharashtra.(HT PHOTO)

After the Bombay high court (HC) rapped the state government on Thursday for selectively applying a policy on age limit of commercial vehicles such as autos and taxis, to certain districts, the state said it will be implemented uniformly across Maharashtra.

A division bench of justices Akil Kureshi and Shahrukh Kathawalla was irked to note that the state’s 2013 decision to reduce the age limit of commercial vehicles was implemented only in Mumbai district. The bench was hearing a petition challenging the Nashik road transport officer’s (RTO) July 2018 decision to introduce the same policy in the district.

“Policy has to be applied uniformly. You cannot pick and choose one rule for Mumbai and some other rule for Nashik,” the bench said, adding that at the most, the government can implement the policy in phases.

Additional government pleader, Shruti Vyas, then submitted an affidavit stating that the decision was based on recommendations of the PM Hakim Committee, which looked into several aspects of commercial vehicles, including passenger safety.

Vyas told the bench that the state intended to apply the policy “uniformly across Maharashtra”.

In 2013, the state had fixed the age limit of autos in Mumbai to 16 years and that of taxis to 20 years, beyond which they would be scrapped.

The petitioners — Haider Mohammed Sayyed, president of Bhadrakali Auto Rickshaw Union in Nashik and Jamil Shaikh, president of Nashik-Kasara-Shirdio Taxi Owners Union — challenged the Nashik RTO’s decision to implement the same policy in the district, claiming that there had been no age limit for commercial vehicles in Nashik before July 2018.

Advocate Indrayani Koparkar, representing the petitioners, said that after the policy was introduced in 2013, the “transport commissioner had in June issued instructions to all state RTOs that the decision was applicable only to Mumbai, and nowhere else”.

Besides, the same policy cannot be applied to Nashik as the conditions in Mumbai and Nashik district are vastly different, said Koparkar.

The petition will now come up for further hearing on July 25.

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 06:45 IST