Cabbies yet to flash photo IDs

Three years after the 26/11 attacks, the proposal of making all taxi drivers display a photo identity on their dashboards is just a piece of legislation that is yet to be enforced

Two days from now the city will have commemorative functions and tributes for the several who died in the 26/11 attacks. But as the city mourns the losses, it appears that few preventive and security measures that were proposed after the incident are practiced in reality.

New safety measures: After a taxi exploded on the night of 26/11 at
Vile Parle, the government had proposed a new rule making it mandatory
for all taxi drivers to display photo ID on their dashboards. File pic

After the 26/11 attacks -- in which two black and yellow taxis had exploded at Vile Parle and Wadi Bunder -- the government had made it mandatory for taxi drivers to display their photo identity on the deck of their cabs. Sadly, however, the proposal still remains only on paper. The purpose of the photo identity was that in case of a terror attack or blasts, the procedure of identifying the driver was easier. Sources said the photo ID card would display details like name, address, permit and badge number of the driver.

However, three years on, taxi drivers are yet to display any kind of photo proof on the dashboard of their vehicles and nor are the unions doing much to enforce the pratice. A source said that the reason for the lackadaisical attitude towards the IDs was that the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) were charging the drivers Rs 300-500 for the card.

Trying to defend the drivers, A L Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen's Union, said, "Nearly 30 per cent of all drivers have the ID," adding that it was true that only a few of them put it on display.

Meanwhile, when MiD DAY asked the State Transport Department about the photo ID, Transport Commissioner V N More said, "We are giving the identity cards to the drivers. But owing to a shortage of manpower, we are facing problems in distributing the proof to all drivers."

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