Maharashtra to Bring Policy to Regulate App-Based Cab Services

Raote said app-based taxi operators like Ola and Uber will be allowed to operate only within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)

MUMBAI, June 22: Maharashtra government will soon announce a policy to regulate app-based cab services like Ola and Uber, and restrict their operations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region besides providing them with fare meters.

"The new policy, that is awaiting final approval of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, entails regulating the fares of these online cab service providers," state Minister for Public Transport Diwakar Raote said.

Replying to queries from the media on yesterday's strike by Mumbai's traditional yellow and black taxis (who were protesting the rates charged by cab aggregators), he said that app-based taxi services will be provided with fare meters.

Raote said app-based taxi operators like Ola and Uber will be allowed to operate only within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

In view of rising popularity of ride-sharing firms, Raote said the regular yellow and black taxis should improve the quality of their services and may launch their own mobile applications.

Commenting on college-going students driving two wheelers, Raote said the government plans to allow teenagers in the age group of 16 to 18 years to drive gear-less two wheelers.

"Parents of these teenagers are at fault for allowing their children to drive two wheelers," he said.

Raote said if teenagers were found guilty of rash driving, action will be taken against their parents.

The state government intends to bring a law to deal with traffic violations and it will cover provisions that have been left out of the purview of the central Act, he stated.

"The amendment Bill will be introduced during the Monsoon Session of the state legislature beginning next month," he said.

Henceforth, while approving tenders for new state highways, the government will incorporate provisions for installation of integrated traffic management systems like CCTVs to detect rash driving, drunken driving, speeding, lane cutting and other traffic violations, the minister said.

"After the June 6 tragic accident on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway that killed 17 people, the RTO monitored vehicular movement on the motorway and also on busy roads in Pune and Mumbai between June 9 and June 17.

"During the surprise checking in Pune and Thane, 2,168 vehicles were found violating traffic rules and a fine of Rs 3.78 lakh was recovered," he said.

Raote disclosed that RTO flying squad vehicles fitted with CCTVs were deployed on the expressway and during checking between June 16 and June 21, action was taken against 1,165 vehicles for lane cutting and violating speed limits.