J&K likely to have SMS-based taxi aggregator scheme: Official



Jammu and Kashmir is likely to have an SMS-based taxi aggregator scheme (TAS) before soon. Clearing decks for the launch of SMS-based TAS in the Union territory, Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu on Friday directed the Department of Transport (DoT) to call the expression of interest (EoI) for implementing the scheme within a month. The LG gave these directions while chairing a meeting of the top functionaries on the Taxi Aggregator Scheme here at the Civil Secretariat, an official spokesperson said.

During the meeting, the lieutenant governor also reviewed the Union territory’s preparedness for the implementation of the scheme, he added.

The lieutenant governor also asked officials to hold consultation with all stakeholder before calling for the EoI to implement the scheme, so that existing operators also have the equal opportunity, the spokesperson said.

Murmu also directed officials to frame the requisite regulations for the scheme to ensure the quality of services, safety, vehicle profile, drivers’ credentials, regulation of fares, the arrangement of services and general conditions to be observed by the licensee.

Profile and antecedents of drivers shall be thoroughly checked to ensure the reliability, and tariff shall be fixed by the Transport Department, especially the maximum cap to be fixed, the spokesperson added.

The LG asked the Transport Department to prepare a database enlisting all the details of the licenses, vehicles, drivers, and operators, which shall be notified for the public.He laid special emphasis on making health check-ups of all drivers mandatory.

The LG observed that the upcoming scheme is an excellent opportunity for the skilled youth, start-ups, IT professionals and taxi operators from J&K to participate in the Taxi Aggregator Scheme.

The LG also said that ensuring the safety and security of passengers, taxis, auto-rickshaws and other permit vehicles operating under the Taxi Aggregator Scheme will have to be fitted with Vehicle Tracking Device, like GPS or GPRS along with a webcam and prescribed emergency button.Meanwhile, the Lt Governor also directed the Transport Department to rationalize the timings of Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses and also directed for pollution checking of private commercial vehicles.He asked them to draw a comprehensive plan for the condemnation and disposal of 20-year-old vehicles. The Lt Governor further directed the officers to ensure that all the new government vehicles shall be BS-6 compliant in terms of emission standards.The lieutenant governor also issued directions for preparing a plan to decongest Amphalla-Janipur road, incorporating multi-level parking for which the land shall be identified by the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC).