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Chandigarh

UT admn gives nod to bike taxis

February 20, 2019 05:23 AM

COURTESY HT FEB 20

Hillary Victor hillary.victor@htlive.com
UT admn gives nod to bike taxis
STA TOLD TO FRAME POLICY, SERVICE EXPECTED TO BE ROLLED OUT WITHIN MONTH

CHANDIGARH : Finally, the UT administration has given its nod to plying of bike taxis in the city. The State Transport Authority (STA) has been asked to frame a policy, so that the service can be introduced within a month.

HT FILE
Uber had launched bike taxis in Mohali in 2017, but they were not allowed to operate in Chandigarh in the absence of a policy.
The taxi typically carries one passenger, who rides as the pillion behind the motorcycle operator. UT secretary, transport, AK Singla said the decision was taken after the STA cleared all queries. “Now, we have asked it to frame a policy, and we are hopeful of starting the service within a month,” he said.

App-based cab service Uber had launched 100 bike taxis under the Punjab government’s ‘Apni Gaddi Apna Rozgar’ scheme in Mohali on July 25, 2017. For a couple of days, these two-wheelers even operated in Chandigarh, but then the STA started challaning them. In all, 25 challans were issued and in the absence of a policy bike taxis were stopped from entering the city.

In September 2017, the STA prepared a draft policy for allowing bike taxis in Chandigarh, but after two meetings the proposal was shelved in May 2018.

The issues raised included road safety and potential health hazard since a single helmet will be used by different passengers.

In June 2018, the STA had sent another proposal to the UT administration after the Punjab government made a plea.

In October, a fresh proposal was sent, but the UT transport department asked the STA to first regulate the cabs — both appbased and regular ones — before considering bike taxis for the city.

In the past six months, the UT transport department had raised several objections to the proposal, including the safety of passengers. The department even asked for a detailed report on how many cabs are registered in the city and what the STA has done to check overcharging by the operators.

“We are in the process of framing the policy soon, keeping the safety of passengers in mind. We hope bike taxis will be allowed by the end of March,” said Rajeev Tiwari, STA additional secretary.

 
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