Mumbai taximen’s union has written to the transport commissioner against reserving 8000 dead permits for private taxi fleets.
According to AL Quadros, General Secretary of the Mumbai Taxi Union, they have been protesting the decision of the transport department to reserve the dead taxi permits for the private and tourist taxi owners since the past 13 years.
Quadros said that in 1997 there were 63,000 black and yellow taxis in the city with a population of 80 lakh. Quadros further said that instead of issuing the 23,000 dead permits to the badge holder taxi drivers, 4000 permits were then given to the private taxi fleets.
At present, Quadros said, there are 40,000 black and yellow taxis and over 4.5 lakh private and tourists taxis plying on city roads with a population of 140 lakh. In the letter submitted to the transport commissioner last week, the MTU has claimed that the permits were given to the taxi drivers under the self employment scheme which generates income for more than nine people directly or indirectly.
“The private taxis are booked through a call center which could be dangerous as anybody with a license can be employed with the private taxi companies. While issuing license and permit to a black and yellow taxi driver, his background is checked through the police by the RTO and he is provided a badge, whereas the driver of a private taxi company has just an ID card provided by the company and not the government,” said Quadros.
“The government should not encourage the private fleet taxis. Instead, it should come forward to help the taxi operators who are self employed,” Quadros added.
Quadros said that he would approach the transport commissioner once again in light of the Delhi rape case and put forward the union’s demand.