The state transport department has shot down the request of app-based cab unions to reconsider the government’s decision directing cabs to sport daffodil yellow colour. “The colour is being misrepresented as saffron when it is nowhere close to it. Also, we are not forcing anyone to stay in the business if they have problems obeying the rule. They are free to discontinue with their operations if they have an issue,” said Transport Minister and Shiv Sena leader Diwakar Raote.
The department recently drafted a set of guidelines under the Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme 2017 for app-based cabs operating in the state.
One of the directives makes it mandatory for all app-based cabs to sport the daffodil yellow colour. The Maharashtra Taxi and Tourist Permit Association wrote to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray last week, seeking a review of the newly laid down rules as well as the direction to paint their vehicles in a particular colour.
In the letter to Thackeray, the association questioned the need to colour their vehicles daffodil yellow. “In a secular country like India, we ask the reason for bringing upon this colour. Due to this move, secular people like us are upset,” it states.
“The rule asks for painting the app-based cabs in the above colour. However, our cabs are already coated with the required colour shade as asked by our respective companies. We do not have the required financial aid to paint our vehicles in the new colour,” the letter adds.
“The rule calls for applying for new permits under the city taxi scheme as opposed to the all-India tourist permits we operate under.”
“This restricts our operations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, which is going to be a major loss to our business,” said Praful Shinde from the Maharashtra Taxi and Tourist Permit Association.
Drivers also raised objections to increased cost of permits, using cleaner fuel and limiting the operation of the cabs.
Besides, the letter says nearly 2.5 lakh drivers and owners running tourist taxis in metropolitan regions such as Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Vasai have supported this stand.
In the last one month, drivers of Ola and Uber have staged multiple protests to oppose the new policies of regulation and the financial crisis they face now.