The state transport department has made it mandatory for all new taxis and autorickshaws to get rooftop indicators in Mumbai from February 1.

According to the notification issued on November 2019, green light will indicate the cab is available for hire, red light will indicate the taxi is occupied, and white light would will indicate the driver is not available. Along with this, the indicators should also have space to display ‘on duty’, ‘off duty’ and ‘hired’.

Transport Commissioner Shekhar Channe said, “These rooftop indicators show if a taxi is available for hire from a distance. This will help both the drivers and passengers.”

The auto rickshaws and taxis in Mumbai, which are registered before February 1, will have to get the indicator installed during fitness certification process at their respective regional transport offices (RTOs).

The state government has asked all RTOs in the state, barring Mumbai, to decide on a date to implement the same rule in their respective regions. RTOs have been asked to submit the dates to the state transport department by the end of January.

Since 2012, citizen’s group Mumbai Vikas Samiti has written several letters to the state transport department and highlighted the importance and need for rooftop indicators to the Hakim committee, which was appointed by the state government to look into autorickshaw and taxi fare revisions.

In 2014, the transport department had issued a draft notification inviting suggestions and objections from people. However, it was further delayed for five years because of a language issue, with former transport minister Diwakar Raote suggesting that letters in Marathi be also put up on the indicators.

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