Mission Begin Again: Taxi-autorickshaw unions urge Maharashtra govt to allow them to operate normally

Mumbai: As per the 'Mission Begin Again' program of unlocking the state, the government of Maharashtra has allowed further relaxations. However, it appeared restrictions on public transports (autorickshaws and kaali peelis) were not eased at all.

As per the government notification, only those involved in essential services or have a medical emergency are allowed to board a taxi or autorickshaw. Also, both three-wheelers and four-wheelers are only allowed to take two passengers only.

Earlier, on Friday, leaders of unions representing auto rickshaws and kaali-peeli taxis had a video conference with transport minister Anil Parab and urged him to allow plying of vehicles.

"We had urged the transport minister to allow kaali peelis to at least ferry the traders and daily office goers. The office going crowd is comprised 70 per cent of our customers and if we can't ferry them then there's no point taking our vehicle out," said AL Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union.

Quadros also claimed, even though government has allowed taxis to ply, their vehicles are being impounded frequently by Mumbai Police.

"We also requested the government to allow us to take three passengers instead of two in the seven-seater taxis and to allow family of four people to travel in one taxi," Quadros stated.

As per the latest government notification, the state has ordered autos and taxis to limit its service to the essential service providers and to take not more than two people in the vehicles.

"We have framed regulations which we will be forwarding to the transport committee comprising of transport minister and joint CP traffic for their approval," said Thambi Kurien, general secretary, Mumbai Rickshawmen's Association.

"The regulations state the precautionary measures that autorickshaws will be following during their operations. We have suffered immense loss for last three months and are now compelled to hit the roads but at the same time, we will have to be cautious as well, as the risk is not over yet," said Kurien, mentioning the government needs to reconsider its decision and allow normal plying of auto rickshaws on the road following July 1.

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