February 28, 2009 1:24:41 am
The plan to abolish state boundaries for public conveyance in the National Capital Region (NCR) is still stuck on the drawing board with the Delhi Traffic Police complaining that the suggested white-and-blue colour code for these vehicles may not be distinguishing enough.
In July 2008,the state governments of Uttar Pradesh,Haryana,Rajasthan and Delhi had notified a common transport agreement that would allow unrestricted movement of each states buses,taxis and autos in the entire region. At present,other states vehicles are either barred from entering other states or have to pay a hefty toll.
But this much anticipated protocol,almost a boon for anti-state commuters,is now caught in a wrangle with the Delhi government and the NCR Planning Board mulling a few changes in the colour code. Transport department officials said the planning board in January had suggested all permitted cabs and autos be painted white,with a blue strip for identification. No colour code for buses has been fixed yet.
But in a meeting on February 25,attended by all stakeholders,the traffic police reportedly said these vehicles might look too similar. An official said: The licence plate is not enough to identify vehicles from each state. There has to be a unique feature on a states vehicles so that it can be identified from a distance.
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The protocol suggests that a vehicle can only travel to and fro according to the passengers requirements. The official said: The police will have to ensure that a vehicle entering Delhi goes back after dropping the passenger and does not ferry people here. He added: Besides,the colour code is also similar to that of tourist cabs. This may lead to confusion.
Delhis Transport Commissioner R K Verma,along with officials from other states,will now approach the Ministry of Shipping and Transport to formalise an appropriate colour scheme. The distribution of forms for cab and auto permits slotted for February 28 has been also postponed.
Meanwhile,taxi and auto drivers are getting restless. General Secretary of the Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union,Rajinder Soni,said: I hope the details are finalised before the general elections are announced.
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