Just 1,500 Premier Padmini taxis left on Mumbai roads

Jan 19, 2015, 15:05 IST | Shashank Rao

With the number of black and yellow Premier Padmini taxis dwindling with each passing day, the iconic vehicle is set to ride into the sunset; those remaining are being dismantled at the Tardeo RTO office

The rugged Premier Padmini black and yellow taxis popularly called as kaali-peeli might be on its last legs. With just 1,500 of these relics plying across Mumbai, Padminis might soon go off the city streets forever.

The remaining 1,500 Padminis, currently plying on the city streets, will be scrapped soon. Pic for representation
The remaining 1,500 Padminis, currently plying on the city streets, will be scrapped soon. Pic for representation

Presently, about 36,000 black and yellow taxis ply across Mumbai. Of these, over 21,000 cabs are Hyundai Santros. The remaining models include Wagon R, Maruti 800, Zen and Omni, among others. “Just about 1,500 Padmini taxis remain in the city. These too will be scrapped eventually,” said A L Quadros, Mumbai Taximen’s Union leader.

“Many of the cabs will soon be seen parked on the premises of Tardeo, Andheri and Wadala RTOs.” Majority of the outdated black and yellow taxis, mostly registered with the Tardeo RTO, are being dismantled at the office. Officials are using welders, who crudely cut taxis into pieces following which they are sold as scrap.

“Padmini taxis are sturdier than other makes and even the spare parts are cheaper and can be found anywhere,” said a cabbie whose vehicle was recently scrapped. The driver has now applied for a new taxi using his permit.

RTO officials said new vehicles fitted with more than 1,000 CC engines would be plying on the road as taxis. Even the Hyundai Santro taxis are said to be replaced by the i10, the carmaker’s next model for the black and yellow cabs.

36,000
No of black and yellow taxis plying on the city streets

7,500
No of dead permits revived by the transport department

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