Fleet taxi services to be regulated: Maha transport minister

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government today said that smartphone-based cab services and fleet taxi services won't be allowed to operate without police verification report, registration and due approval of the Transport Commissioner.

Maharashtra State Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said here that the Transport Commissioner has finalised draft rules to regulate these services and a final decision on the issue is expected to be announced in 20 days.

"Aspects like women's security, installing emergency buttons, customer interaction and other safety aspects are being incorporated in the new rules. After the Uber cab incident in Delhi, the police has checked all drivers of fleet taxi services," Raote said.

Referring to the statewide autorickshaw and taxi strike today, he said that the real reason behind the strike was fleet taxi services, rather than the fare hike issue.

Raote claimed that the strike is partial in some suburbs, adding that except Pune, the strike did not evoke any response in other parts of the state.

He said that the autorickshaw union led by Shashank Rao had petitioned that they should be allowed to place their views before the state government's fare fixation committee, to which the state government had agreed.

Commenting further on regulating fleet taxis, the minister stated that Maharashtra did not have its own Transport Act and the state is working towards having its own act soon.

While replying to queries, he revealed that the Maharashtra State Transport Department has only 60 per cent staff at present.

"Although the department is recruiting 750 clerical staff, there is a shortage of officers which is the real problem," Raote said.

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