464 private cabbies barred from plying in Mumbai

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 30 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Four hundred and sixty-four private taxi drivers' applications were rejected during police verification this month, with 33 getting "adverse remarks". The rejected drivers had provided false addresses and one was found to be dead. The police could process only 6,634 applications of the database of almost 27,000 taxi aggregators/operators it had received in December as the addresses given were either not proper or incomplete.

The transport department has issued an ultimatum to taxi aggregators to fall in line within six weeks and suspend operations of taxis not complying with its new directives. Officials also want operators to introduce 'live tracking' of cabs till passengers complete th8e8ir journey.

These measures come after the Delhi rape case. State transport commissioner Ma8h8esh Zagade said, "Cab aggregators and radio taxi operators were summoned for a second review meeting on Thursday. We have sought 26 clarifications pertaining to passenger security."

Sources said the operators have been told to file an affidavit that the company management will be responsible for any crime, such as rape or molestation, in cabs.

The police had received a database of 26,901 drivers of taxi aggregators/operators from the transport department last December. The police could process only 6,634 of those applications, as 20,237 addresses were not proper, deputy police commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni said. "Of these applications, only 836 drivers have been given police clearance. The 464 drivers rejected had either provided false addresses, were not residents of Mumbai or their names were not proper. They will have to fill up a fresh form and give documentary proof and addresses again," he stated. In one application, the driver was found to be dead.

Police sources said senior officers have roped in the National Crime Record Bureau and State Crime Record Bureau to check if any driver has a criminal record.

The transport department, which wants to pursue implementation of 'live tracking' of cabs, will arrange for a meeting of operators with the police so that a distress message, in an emergency, can be sent to the control room. "Live trip-tracking will keep a check on drivers switching off GPS-enabled smartphones or cabs deviating from the scheduled route. It will ensure minute-by-minute monitoring of cabs," an official said.

The transport department's new parameters include ensuring drivers wear badges, police verification, a 'panic switch', foolproof GPS system and live tracking in cabs. Some taxis, such as those owned by Meru Plus and TaxiForSure, have installed 'panic switches'. The switches will now be available in nearly 150 cabs, sources said.

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