12 December,2010 01:25 AM IST | | Bipin Kumar Singh
New black and yellow taxis had ACs, used to charge 50 per cent more than electronic meter fare
Taxi drivers, who ferried passengers from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport in air-conditioned black and yellow cabs, are now cooling their heels inside their swanky new vehicles. According to the rules, black and yellow taxis don*t have the licence to ply with AC. What*s more, these cab drivers were also charging exorbitant fares -- as high as 50 per cent extra on the electronic meter fare -- from unsuspecting passengers.
The airport authorities cracked down on the offenders in the past week after receiving complaints from several passengers. "Several black and yellow cabs at the airport had air conditioners, which they do not have valid licences for. They were charging more than AC cabs with valid licences like Meru," said an airport staff member on condition of anonymity.
"Cabbies who park their cabs inside the airport, stand at the arrival gate where passengers enquire for taxis. They later charge exorbitant fares from them," said the staff member. In October, the Mumbai taxi union submitted a demand to the transport office and the MMRDA to allow new black and yellow taxis, which come fitted with ACs, to charge 10 per cent more than the electronic meter readings. Their demand is still being looked into.
Transport Commissioner of Mumbai, Dilip Jadhav said, "Till date, no approval has been given to the black and yellow cabs to operate with air conditioners. If they are operating with ACs, and charging more, it is a punishable offence." "But black and yellow cabs are not supposed to operate with air conditioners. It is clearly a violation and they can be charged a hefty fine," said Mumbai taxi union president A L Quadros.