The new policy, called the Maharashtra Regulation of Aggregators Rules, will bring all driver partners under the ambit of the state government so that they could be prosecuted for ‘non-compliance’. “The state government is expected to approve the draft soon, paving way for the policy implementation early this year,” the official said.
State transport commissioner Vivek Bhimanwar said the policy draft was sent to state government in the latter half of December. The policy will provide clarity on several issues, including setting up of regulations for the operation of bike taxis that are not allowed in the state at present.
“In Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, the operations of bike taxis, as well aggregator-based autorickshaws, have been deemed illegal. App-based autorickshaws are, however, operating for the benefit of citizens. With the implementation of the policy, a proper set of regulations and fare structure, among others, will come into effect,” an official with the Pune RTO said.
Sources in the transport department said that the policy would also include regulations on action against public transport vehicles, such as autorickshaws and cabs, refusing trips and fleecing customers. “There will be strict punishment in terms of fines against drivers indulging in such behaviour,” Bhimanwar said.
“After the regulations are in place, the onus would be on local RTOs for their effective implementation. And this is where the problem lies. The number of autorickshaws in Pune is huge and trip refusals and fleecing are rampant too. How will the RTO check these issues,” Jeevan Sathale, a daily commuter, said.
Pune RTO Sanjiv Bhor told TOI that they have four squads, each consisting of four officers, involved in ground checks.