Govt. plans to launch taxi service


A booklet released by the CM states that technical assistance will come from ISRO

The State government wants to start a new taxi service along the lines of app-based ride hailing companies such as Ola and Uber, and it plans to tap into the expertise of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for this project.

This was announced in a booklet on the ‘achievements’ of the Transport Department in the last one year, which was released on Thursday in the presence of Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa , Deputy Chief Minister and Transport Minister Laxman Savadi.

“Plans are being prepared to introduce a taxi aggregator service under the principle of a cooperative system. ISRO has agreed to provide the required support. This will help the department generate revenue on a larger scale,” stated the booklet.

For the last few years, a section of taxi drivers in the city have been demanding that the State government introduce an aggregator system as an alternative platform. Drivers believe that a platform supported by the State government will help improve their earnings, which had been dwindling even before the pandemic. The idea of a government supported taxi aggregator system was also discussed in the previous JD(S) and Congress coalition government.

The Transport Department is also seeking ISRO’s expertise to improve transport facilities that include bus services in Bengaluru. The booklet stated that a technical expert team has been formed. With a senior scientist from the ISRO as the nodal officer, the team comprises officials, technical experts, former IAS and IPS officers.

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The booklet provides a glimpse of ‘achievements’ by the department and State-run road transport corporations. It noted that ₹200 crore has been allotted for road safety measures in 2020-21 and ₹20 crore for vehicular tracking system.

In the booklet, the department claims that COVID-19 compensation of ₹5,000 would benefit 7.75 lakh auto and taxi drivers across the State, and that the government would spend ₹387 crore.

However, contrary to this claim, only 2.45 lakh drivers availed of the scheme and they did not receive the compensation in time.

The booklet also lists some of the measures taken by the road transport corporations during lockdown, including providing transportation to migrant workers.

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Sagar Biswas

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