Bombay HC Accuses Maharashtra Govt. of Being Biased Towards Kaali-Peeli Taxis
Taxi Unions Vehemently Oppose GPS Diktat!
It seems that traditional kaali-peeli taxis plying in Mumbai are in serious trouble. On one hand, they are vehemently opposing the new rule for installing GPS in their taxis. On the other hand, Bombay High Court has accused Maharashtra Govt. of being partial towards them, when it comes to competition between app-based cabs and kaali-peeli taxis.
This means that rules can be made more strict for them, near future.
Bombay HC: Govt. Is Favouring Kaali Peeli Taxis
Earlier this year, Maharashtra Govt. introduced the ‘Maharashtra City Taxi Rules 2017’, which put forward several terms and conditions for the app-based taxi hailing services, including a special license for them.
Existing players such as Uber and Ola opposed this hard stand, ad filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, challenging the rules mentioned in the draft.
Hearing the case, Bombay High Court has observed that the State Govt. is clearly biased towards traditional kaali-peeli taxis, and this is the reason rules have been made so hard for the app-based cabs.
This is clearly a major embarrassment for the state Govt.
In fact, the bench consisting of Justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav asked the Govt. to be more rational and fair towards the app-based cab providers, calling for ‘fair competition’.
The Court said, “There seems to be a clear discrimination on several points wherein the kali-peeli taxis are given benefit. The government must treat everyone at par. Let there be fair competition.”
In the petition, it was said that Govt. has fixed Rs 25,000 as a fee for getting permits for cabs with engine capacity below 1,400 cc and Rs 2.6 lakh for taxis with engine capacity above 1,400 cc. This amount is 10-times of that kaali-peeli taxis are need to pay for the same permit.
The bench informed the State Govt. that in ‘London and American cities’, the rules for app-based cabs and traditional taxis are same, and “Maharashtra should also allow something like that and be a trendsetter for other states in India to follow.”
Next hearing on this matter is on September 15th.
Kaali-Peeli Taxis Oppose GPS Diktat
Meanwhile, unaware that Govt. is silently supporting them against app-based cabs, (or they are aware?), kaali-peeli taxi unions have vehemently opposed Govt.’s decision to install GPS in every taxi.
The bone of contention seems the extra financial burden.
Prem Singh, leader of Mumbai Taxi Association, asked, “The government has made speed governors mandatory for taxis and is now asking to install the GPS device. Who
will bear the financial burden?”
Last week, Ranjit Patil, Minister of State for Home informed the Assembly that every taxi and auto rickshaw will be required to install GPS, which would be tracked live via control room.
Meanwhile, defying all logic, AL Quadros, leader of Mumbai Taximens Union said, “There has not been a molestation in black and yellow taxis and therefore it is one of the safest transport modes for women,”
Irony, we must say.