Earlier this month, MiD DAY reported how the taxi union decided to take action against the government’s indifference to their demand for more taxi stands (‘Cabbies to ‘beg’ for more taxi stands’, November 18). To make their demands heard, taxi drivers begged outside Dadar and Mumbai Central stations to raise funds.
Hearing their long pending plea, the state transport department has agreed to give in to their demands and expedite the process of building more taxi stands.
On November 20, the Transport department, representatives of Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) and taxi unions had a joint meeting wherein the government promised that their issues would be taken care of.
Sources in the RTO claimed that they have informed the taxi unions about the process of installing the taxi stands, which has begun. “We have already called for tenders and have asked the civic body to expedite the process of selecting contractors to erect these taxi stands,” said an official from the RTO.
Officials also added that they are looking at the overall cost of assembling and installing these taxi stands. “We have been promised that in the forthcoming state budget, a sum of around Rs 60 lakh will be kept aside for erecting these taxi stands,” said AL Quadros, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.
They will also be having a meeting with the BMC to decide the course of action to be taken regarding this. For now, 242 taxi stands would cost around Rs 3,000 each (metal frame and painted pole).
The union members claim that nearly 1,200 taxi stands have been either stolen or have been damaged by developmental work. The Transport department was to get these stands ready by July, which has been delayed.
On November 18, nearly 300 taxi drivers parked their vehicles outside Dadar station at around 10 am and began begging to collect fund for their taxi stands. The union claims that they collected close to Rs 10,000 from people.
Two days later, they repeated the same activity at Mumbai Central station wherein they managed to collect around Rs 6,000. They were to continue this at Grant Road and Mahalaxmi, which was cancelled after a meeting with the state government.