Mumbai: As of March 11, 2020, only ten kaali-peelis with roof-top indicators have been registered at the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Mumbai central (Tardeo).
In January, in a bid to curb the rampant fare refusals by taxi drivers, the state government had mandated the installation of rooftop LED indicators on all new kaali-peeli taxis being registered from February 1 onwards.
The LED indicators have red, green and white lights - red will indicate the taxi is occupied, green means the taxi is available whereas white will indicate the non-availability of the taxi.
Meanwhile, from February 1, the Tardeo RTO has only cleared registrations of those vehicles installed with these indicators.
“Since February 1, we have cleared the registration of only ten kaali-peelis with roof-top indicators installed,” said an RTO official from the taxi clearance department.
“We have withheld clearance of vehicles without these indicators. Also, there has been a drop in the registration of kaali-peeli taxis since app-based cabs have appeared,” the officer added.
The four-wheelers, after being bought from the showroom, are required to have the rooftop indicators installed. After this, they are checked by an inspector at the RTO, who approves the vehicle for registration only if the indicator is in place, after having assessed the fitness of the vehicle.
While it is compulsory for new taxis to have these indicators, no deadline has been issued to older vehicles for this purpose.
However, the taximen's union has criticised this requirement. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)-affiliated taximen's union said, indicators being provided by the RTO are of poor quality and get detached at the slightest jerk.