Mumbai old cabs get 6 more months to fix roof-top indicators

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Mumbai, Jan 8 (PTI) The transport authority for Mumbai Metropolitan Region has decided to defer by six months the implementation of its decision to install roof-top indicators on taxis registered before January 31, 2020, an official said on Friday.

The new date for installing colour-coded roof-top indicators on old taxis has been extended till July 1, 2021 from the earlier date of January 1, 2021, the transport department official said.

In a recent meeting, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), chaired by Maharashtra transport secretary, took this decision in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The official said that due to the pandemic, only one of the three manufacturers have made their roof-top indicators available in the market.

'Hence, it could lead tothe shortage of these indicators in the market, which could result in rising black marketing complaints,' he said.

The colour-coded indicators, which would signal if the cab is free or occupied, are expected to bring down the rampant ride refusals by drivers.

The state transport department has made roof-top indicators for new 'black-and-yellow' taxis and 'silver-blue' cool cab taxis registered in MMR from February 1, 2020.

The state government had also asked the respective regional transport authorities to decide the date of fixing the indicators on cabs registered before January 31, 2020, in their jurisdictions.

Acting on it, in last June, the MMRTA had decided to make roof-top indicators mandatory for old taxis (registered before January 2020 end) at the time of annual fitness certificate renewal from January 1, 2021.

The indicators will have green, red and white coloured LED lights.

As per the government notification issued in December 2019, the taxi with the green light on would indicate it is available for ferrying passengers, red would mean the cab is occupied and white would show that it is unavailable for hiring.

Apart from the LED lights, the indicators will have letters 'For Hire', 'Hired' and 'Off Duty', in English as well as Marathi languages.

According to the notification, the rooftop indicator for black-and-yellow taxis should be cream yellow in colour, while the same for fleet taxis should be blue or silver.

Letters on the rooftop indicators of taxis should be either on front or on both front and rare sides for clear and better viewing, it said.

Mumbai has over 40,000 black-and-yellow and silver and blue taxis, but other cities in MMR like Thane, Vasai- Virar, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and Panvel have very few cabs.

The project, proposed in 2012, gained momentum in January 2014 when the transport department issued a draft notification inviting suggestions and objections from people.

It was delayed for five years due to the language issue, with former transport minister Diwakar Raote suggesting that letters in Marathi be also put up on the indicators. PTI KK NP NP