Mumbai : The Mumbai Taximan Union, representing the black and yellow (kaali-peeli) taxis, are up in arms against the state government with the latter giving a fresh deadline extension to the application based taxi services.
The state has given time till May 31 for app-based taxis to be converted into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles.
The Mumbai Taximan Union members said that the government must shut the illegal services offered by Ola and Uber owing to improper permits and reissue the licences afresh.
“The transport ministry might even extend the deadline up to June this year which is not fair as it will continue to hamper services of black and yellow taxis,” said KK Tiwari, president of Swabimaan Taxi Rickshaw Union.
In the backdrop of these allegations, Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said, “They would face legal action if they do not abide by the rules issued under the GR.” Raote, however, refrained from mentioning who they were.
The Government Resolution (GR) was issued by state government, on March 4 for app-based taxis like Ola and Uber listing new policies under the Maharashtra City Taxi Scheme of 2017. It states that the taxis registered under new law must be CNG-based and drivers need to get badges in order to get a new licence.
The members of Mumbai Taximan Union said that they had filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court stating that the app-based taxis are running illegally.
“The app-based taxis have encroached on Kaali-Peeli taxis by running on tourist taxi permit. It is good that the new GR has helped bring all types of taxis under one umbrella,” said L Quadros, General Secretary of Mumbai Taximan Union.
There are at least 80,000 app-based taxis and only 45,000 kaali peeli taxis which currently ply in the city. The members of Swambimaan Taxi Rickshaw Union also said that the new rules will help to regularise the rates of application based taxis.
“If all taxis had to be converted into CNG vehicles, then the government should have taken this decision earlier. At least 70 percent of the total tourist taxis in Mumbai are diesel/petrol-based. Converting them into CNG ones is difficult to be completed within the given deadline,” said Raju Patil, senior leader of Sangharsh Tourist Chalak Malak Sangh.