Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mumbai Police's verification drive for cab drivers

My email to Commissioner of Mumbai Police on verification drive for Cab drivers - requesting him to bring the tourist taxis as well as private drivers also under this drive. Though I did not hear back - I am hoping that they have at least read my email..:)
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Dear Mr. Maria,

I am a Mumbai resident and writing to thank you for initiating the verification process for cab drivers in the aftermath of the very unfortunate Delhi incident. This move will definitely reinforce a sense of safety among the Mumbai citizens. However, from the news I understand that this process is being initiated only for Black & Yellow cabs, cool cabs and radio cabs leaving out the tourist permit cabs and more importantly thousands of drivers who drive private cars. While no doubt the first priority of the authorities would be to ensure that drivers of vehicles with taxi permits are screened and verified - I would urge you to also include the tourist permit taxis to also undergo this process as well as ask all those who employ paid drivers for their private vehicles to do the same. The reason why I am requesting this is because there are number of taxi operators (besides the aggregators like Uber, Ola and Taxi for sure) who provide tourist permit vehicles for both intra and inter city transport including liveries such as Avis, Orix etc. (many of which ferry office staff almost on a daily basis) and there have been similar incidents in the past involving drivers of such tourist taxis including the one in Dehradun few months ago and in Bangalore a few years ago.Similarly, currently there is no way for people who employ a driver for their private vehicles to check his antecedents except to rely on references provided by the driver himself which can be easily forged and a verification process which is laid down by authorities can be a big help in assuring people. In fact,few years ago when I was hiring a driver I actually called up 100 number to check on the verification process and was told that there was none and was instead advised to take a photocopy of his ID proof - which was a bit worrying for me because the driver is in the possession of your car and if he is a rogue element he can potentially create a lot of trouble using that car. Therefore, if as part of this drive if all such drivers are also asked to register themselves (like it is done for domestic help) - it would be really great. Of course, to avoid over burdening the police staff, the onus for such registrations should be put on the private drivers and their employers within a certain timeline. As a concerned citizen, I am taking this liberty of writing directly to you on this, for I feel very strongly about this issue and really thankful for Police's proactive action on this. I sincerely hope that you will find merit in my suggestion.

Thanks and regards,
Nishant Kashyap

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