Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here Comes Radio cabs for Delhi and NCR

Starting Thursday, commuters will be able to hire radio cabs to travel between Delhi and the satellite townships of Noida and Ghaziabad. In a major step towards facilitation of movement between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the first radio taxi operator from the capital will start plying taxis to NCR towns after the two states agreed to countersign permits of cabs. So far, people could take cabs only till the border.

Even after all the states forming part of NCR had signed the draft Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement last year, its implementation was not possible due to inter-departmental issues. Even radio cabs from the city could only ply till the border. On Wednesday, one operator Meru Cabs was given the green signal to operate cabs between Delhi and Noida, Ghaziabad after both states countersigned the permits.

‘‘After deliberations that lasted months, we have finally managed to resolve the issue for free movement of radio cabs between Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad. The cabs can start operations from Thursday,’’ said a senior transport department official. The final formalities were completed after representatives from transport departments of both the states met on Wednesday and sorted out the differences.

The cabs will not be required to pay any additional taxes so people will enjoy services at the existing fare slab of Rs 15/km. Those taking toll roads, however, will have to pay extra for the toll charges. The cabs will have an NCR logo and a green band running across the width of the vehicle.

The permits will be handed over to the operator on Thursday morning. ‘‘We have issued fresh permits to Meru Cabs limited with provisions for all other states to countersign. The permits are approved and ready. They can start operations from Thursday,’’ said Lalji Choudhary of the Ghaziabad Regional Transport Office (RTO).

The cab operator, meanwhile, said they have started upgrading their systems to
cater to the added rush. ‘‘We are very excited to start our services in the growing market in Noida areas. We are getting our systems and processes ready so commuters may face some delays in the first few days of operations,’’ said a spokesperson for Meru Cabs.

The move comes soon after Delhi Metro started train operations to Noida and then till Anand Vihar border, which will soon be extended to Vaishali, and redefined commuting in this region.