The state government has finally called the shots to still stand by its decision it took two decades ago to limit the number of taxi and autorickshaw permits in Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra. As a matter of fact, the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Department did issue an official statement clarifying that it won’t lift the ceiling, hence ending all the speculations that have been going on for months.
“The state government has not taken any decision about freeing up autorickshaw permits. The government has re-issued auto and taxi permits that were cancelled or had lapsed, but the ban on issuing new ones stays,” the release said.
Maharashtra has 7.5 lakh autorickshaws and 79,000 black-and-yellow taxis out of which 1.39 lakh autorickshaws and 55,000 taxis move around on the roads of Mumbai.
The Union of the Mumbai Autorickshaw Taximen has been so long demanding that the government issues one lakh more permits, considering the rise in the population of the city over the past two decades when the government had decided to limit the permits.
It was on 26 November 1997 that the government put a cap on the number of permits issued to taxis and autorickshaws in the state.
Further, the government took this decision after a Union had put in a directive in place so as to avert the traffic issues in cities that had more than five lakh people living there.
Officials, on the other hand, are of the opinion that lifting the ceiling will only deteriorate the situation of traffic in cities like Mumbai and Pune.