‘Not all old vehicles will be phased out immediately’

Transport commissioner tells Priyal Dave renewal of dead permits will bring relief to passengers

Written by PRIYAL DAVE | Published: July 17, 2013 4:51 am

The ratio of autos and taxis to passengers is only set to decrease. How will you ensure that there are enough autos and taxis for drivers as new permits are not allowed?

A proposal for renewal of dead permits is pending with the state government. As soon as it is approved,we will renew permits and drivers can get new vehicles. This is an attempt to provide relief to passengers.

There is a revision in the date to phase out old autos and taxis. Won’t there be a shortage if more taxis and autos are taken off roads?

The Government Resolution reiterates a Bombay High Court ruling,which put a cap on the age of commercial vehicles. Not all taxis older than 20 years and autos older than 16 years will be suddenly taken off roads. However,from August 1,their annual fitness certificates will not be renewed. Such taxis and autos will be phased out in four to 16 months. Also,owners are allowed to get new vehicles on their permit any time within six months.

Has the Hakim Committee report been effective in addressing the grievances of auto and taxi drivers?

Nothing is 100 per cent perfect. As far as the fare formula — as decided by the Hakim Committee — is concerned,I don’t think this kind of scientific calculation has ever been made anywhere in India. The government has accepted the report with minor modifications.

After the fare hike,have complaints of refusal to ply come down?

Yes,the number of complaints has come down drastically. In 2011-12,there were 5,700 complaints. This came down to 2,900 in 2012-13. Drivers who want to earn seldom refuse passengers. Some crooked elements indulge in such behaviour.

Auto and taxi unions often hold the city to ransom and the government conceded their demand for a fare hike. Despite a fare formula now,this continues to happen.

The unions threaten to go on strike and use the media to scare citizens. We must understand that for a union to exist,it has to be in news. As far as fare hikes are concerned,some provisions have been made in the Hakim Committee report. The same will be looked into to decide hikes in future.

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