Mumbai: In an attempt to counter increase in cases of Taxi refusals, the Maharashtra transport department has decided to install roof-top indicators on the new 'Black-and-yellow' taxis.
Speaking to the Free Press Journal, Maharashtra transport commissioner, Shekhar Channe informed that the government has issued a notification, ordering every new taxis that will be registered after February 1, has to install the indicator compulsorily.
“The colour coded indicators will signal if the cab is free or occupied. The indicators will bring down the rampant ride refusals by drivers,” Channe stated.
He informed the indicators will have green, red and white coloured LED lights, of which, green will indicate it's availability, red would be signal the cab is occupied, while the white colour will indicate the cab is off duty.
Apart from LED lights, the indicators will have letters 'For Hire', 'Hired' and 'Off Duty', in English as well as Marathi languages. The indicators will be priced between Rs 1,000-Rs1500; however, a deadline for installing the same is not yet decided. “Taxis registered from February 1 onwards needs to install the indicators compulsorily. However we will also fix a deadline for the taxis running presently to install the indicators,” Channe added.
The state government has asked the respective regional transport authorities to decide the date of fixing the indicators on cabs registered till January-end, in their jurisdictions. Besides, the government has given powers to the transport commissioner to decide the date of fitting roof-top indicators on auto-rickshaws alike.
Mumbai has around 43,500 black-and-yellow taxis and the number of auto-rickshaws is around 2.05 lakh. The number of taxis across the state, including Mumbai, is 65,591, and of auto-rickshaws is around 9.75 lakh.
The project, proposed in 2012, gained momentum in January 2014 when the transport department issued a draft notification inviting suggestions and objections from people. It was delayed for five years because of a language issue, with former transport minister Diwakar Raote suggesting that letters in Marathi be also put up on the indicators.