February 26, 2009 11:15:06 pm
The Regional Transport Officer informed the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that various steps have been taken by the authorities to phase out 25 years old black and yellow meter taxis in Mumbai.
Chandrakant Sontakke,Regional Transport Officer,said that permit holders who have not replaced their taxis have been warned that if found plying on the road their taxis will be seized and action will be initiated. Sontakke added that individual notices have been issued to permit holders who have not replaced their vehicles within the prescribed time period.
The court,however,asked the state to extend the time period so that those who have not applied will get more time to do so. Government Pleader D A Nalavade agreed and said that the government did not have a problem with extending the deadline.
The RTO has further sent a list of non complying taxis to the Mahanagar Gas Limited requesting them to stop CNG supply to these taxis and inform the RTO.
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The traffic police have also been issued instructions to take stern action against such taxis,the affidavit states. The court had earlier reserved its orders on the issue of phasing out of taxis which are more than 25 years old.
The court which is hearing petitions filed by some taxi drivers and had directed the government to seek clarification from vehicle manufacturers companies like Tata and Maruti as well as the insurance companies regarding what concessions could be granted to taxi owners wanting to purchase new taxis. The court had earlier appointed a committee,and sought recommendations as to what relief can be granted to taxi owners/drivers who would be affected by the phase-out. As many as 7,051 taxis in Mumbai are over 25 years old; the state government told the court on Tuesday.
As per the committee,vehicle manufacturers were offering discounts upto Rs 40,000 on price of new vehicles. According to the affidavit as on February 23,2009,there are 7881 taxis above 25 years of age. The number of taxis that have made fresh applications amount to 6,707 and number of taxis removed from the permit totals 4,652. The number of taxis which have not applied for replacement amounts to 1,174.
The authorities have also detained 47 taxis in the city.
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