Maxi cabs, tourist taxis back on road


BANGALORE – Even as the representatives of truck operators were on a mission to impress upon the Union Government about the “ill effects” of speed governors, maxi cab and tourist taxi operators, who had joined the protest against speed governors, on Sunday decided to resume their services in the interests of the people.

The Bangalore Tourist Taxi Operators’ Association president, K.S. Thantri, and the Karnataka Maxi Cab and Motor Cab Operators’ Welfare Association president, K. Siddaramaiah, told The Hindu that taxi services would be resumed from early hours of Monday.

This decision followed hectic parlays between maxi cab and tourist taxi operators and the Transport Commissioner, M. Lakshminarayana, on Sunday evening. While the Transport Department had threatened to withdraw the tax concession offered to taxis, during the talks the commissioner reportedly promised them that the Government would take up their cause in the Supreme Court.

Mr. Thantri said non-operation of taxi and cab services had affected the image of Bangalore across the world. Hence, the decision to resume the services had been taken. Representatives of the operators have reached Delhi to hold talks with the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, T.R. Balu.

What has boosted the morale of the operators is a recommendation by the Nehru Committee constituted by the Ministry to look into the issue of road safety. The committee, among other things on road safety issues, had recommended that the Centre should withdraw from States the power to direct installation of speed governors in vehicles. Representatives of transport vehicle operators led by the Federation of Karnataka Lorry Owners’ and Agents’ Association president, G.R. Shanmugappa, are expected to meet Mr. Balu on Monday.

The Karnataka United School and Light Motor Vehicle Drivers’ Union said that its members would not withdraw the services offered by them, which would affect schoolchildren. “Since it is examination season, we do not want to cause trouble to children,” the union General Secretary, K.R. Srinivas, said. Cab operators have decided against plying their vehicles till Wednesday and have informed their decision to IT and BPO companies which have hired their vehicles.