Mumbai traffic police chief approves of switching on AC in regular taxis

Apr 03, 2014, 08:35 IST | Vedika Chaubey

Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B K Upadhyay has given the nod for the proposal to let passengers in the new black-and-yellow taxis travel with the AC on, at 10 per cent extra charge

With the scorching heat taking a toll on everyone, the traffic department has given the go-ahead for a proposal to introduce semi-cool cabs in the city. These are the newer taxis that come with an air conditioner (AC) fitted, and citizens can ask the driver to put on the AC by paying an extra 10 per cent over the fare.

Cool ride: You can soon ask the driver of the new cabs to switch on the AC by shelling out a tenth of the fare for the facility 

Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (traffic), said, “The traffic department has no issues with this proposal and I have said yes to it. But this will be finally decided by the MMRTA committee in the next meeting. where I will vote for it.”

The MMRTA — Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority — is a quasi-judicial body. The MMRTA committee is headed by the transport secretary, and has the traffic and transport commissioners and RTO chief as its members. It decides the transport plan for the Mumbai metropolitan region, including fare and other policies.

The proposal to introduce such taxis was re-sent to the traffic department last week; having been rejected years ago.
There are 42,000 black-and-yellow cabs in the city; of these, 11,000 are Premier Padminis, which do not come with an AC. After the state government banned all taxis older than 25 years, owners started using models like Santro, Omni, Indica, SX4, etc.

“All these models have in-built ACs and since then, unions and passengers have been demanding to allow turning on ACs on demand. Since we couldn’t get the traffic department to agree, we couldn’t allow it. Now that the new commissioner has said yes for this, we will soon have the facility in taxis,” said Anthony Quadros, general secretary, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

Quadros added that the proposal had been sent to the committee for further approvals, and that they were trying to get the nod and start implementing the policy as soon as possible. The proposal will now come up in the next committee meeting.

Nearly 20 lakh people commute by cab every day.

K Sharma, state transport secretary, told mid-day, “This is a policy matter. However, no decision can be taken till the time we are bound by the election code of conduct.”


Monika Mishra, textile designer from Dahisar
This is a very nice idea. I have to travel to Malad daily, and if the government allows for switching on ACs in cabs, it’ll make the ride comfortable. 

Sujit Pathak, lawyer from Borivli
I have to travel to different courts in the city and search for Cool Cabs. ACs in regular cabs would be a great help.

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