Travel light if you want to hail a cab

Jul 10, 2012, 07:05 IST | Shashank Rao

Taxi drivers protest against installing overhead carriers to hold passengers' baggage, cite overloading, space issues

Make your own arrangements to travel from railway stations and airports, especially if you are carrying heavy luggage and bags. The taxi union has recently written to the state transport department saying that they will refrain from fitting carriers above their black and yellow taxis and that passengers should instead book pick-up vans and other vehicles to ferry their luggage.

Weight and watch: Taxi unions have threatened that they would ask drivers not to go to prepaid stands if they are forced to install carriers for luggage. They claim that many of these taxis are less than 1,100cc and also have to bear the weight of a CNG tank. Representation pic 

The issue has cropped up recently, after the Transport department made it mandatory for taxis ferrying passengers from railway stations and airports, especially those starting from prepaid stands, to fit carriers on top. Recently, the RTOs also caught several taxis flouting this norm and collected fines from them.

The letter was submitted last week to the transport department. “Let passengers arrange for pickup vans wherein all their luggage can be kept inside and one passenger can accompany the van till their destination. It is not right to overload taxis with luggage,” said A L Quadros, Mumbai Taximen’s Union.

Several people using the prepaid taxi facility have complained to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) that with limited space available at the rear end of the vehicle, they are forced to take two taxis at times, just for the sake of accommodating their bags.

“The CNG tanks are installed in the trunk at the rear-end of the cabs, which utilise most of the space, so we have made it mandatory for taxis at prepaid stands to install carriers,” said a senior RTO official.

Taxi unions opposing this move are also threatening to ask drivers not to go to these prepaid stands if their demand is not met. They claim that many of these taxis are less than 1,100cc and also have to bear the weight of a CNG tank.

Transport Commissioner VN More told MiD DAY that all cabs plying under the prepaid taxi system are required to install carriers. Everyday, nearly 5,000 black and yellow cabs ply on prepaid taxi system, of which nearly 3,000 operate at the domestic and international terminals of Mumbai airport. The rest operate outside CST, Kurla LTT, Dadar and Bandra Terminus railway stations.

“We are giving some time for taxis to install carriers. If they fail to do so, we will start taking action,” said a senior RTO official. 

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