The state government’s transport department is in the process of framing a proposal to regulate all taxi services in the state. The department has been working on guidelines that will apply to all taxi services in Maharashtra and has already held several meetings with taxi service providers.
Some of the suggestions include ensuring that each taxi has an app with an emergency button to send out an alert message to the police and the service provider in case of an untoward incident, ensuring that drivers of all taxi services have badges similar to the ones issued to licensed auto and taxi drivers, and setting an upper limit for fares charged for such services.
GPS will also be made compulsory in all taxis.
State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said, “The transport department is working on a proposal under which all taxi service providers will be governed by the Motor Vehicles Act. The department will submit a report on this, which will be considered by us. This is necessary as there is no restriction on certain taxi service providers at present.”
The government is looking at bringing about a Government Resolution in this regard.
“We are exploring various options by which all taxi services will be governed by a single legislation. This can be done by passing of a resolution by the State Transport Authority, amending the state’s Motor Vehicles Act or by bringing about an administrative order,” said an official.
The steps follow the rape of a 25-year-old female in New Delhi in December 2014 by the driver of an Uber taxi she was travelling in.
According to the department, there are around six taxi schemes operating in the state currently, which are not under their control. “We are looking at coming up with a list of minimum requirements that these taxi service providers need to comply with. Discussions on this are still on and many taxi service providers have agreed to comply with some of the requirements proposed by us,” the official added.