After Delhi incident, Radio cabs in Kolkata under police radar

Kolkata, Dec 9: The Kolkata Police have begun scrutinising safety measures being offered by cab services operating in the city, following the alleged rape of a woman executive by an Uber taxi driver in New Delhi, a senior traffic official said Tuesday.

The Kolkata Police are identifying and scrutinising safety measures put in place by the radio cabs and call-a-cab services in the city, he elaborated.

Radio cabs in Kolkata under police radar

The Delhi government banned "all activities" by Uber company in the national capital. It also blacklisted the firm from providing transport services in Delhi in future.

The drastic action followed the arrest Sunday of the taxi driver, Shiv Kumar Yadav, from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. He allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman executive Friday night and escaped thereafter.

"We are identifying the cab services which are many in the city. We are trying to check what kind of measures they have arranged to ensure passenger safety whether they are making any kind of driver verification and whether they have installed services like GPS tracking etc.," Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) V. Solomon Nesakumar told IANS Tuesday.

However, there are no such stringent safety checks for the 30,000-odd yellow taxis that normally ply everyday.

"The cab owners and drivers are responsible for the passengers' safety and whenever we get any complaints or feedback we look into them," said Nesakumar.

The incident has brought the problem of verification details of the cabbies under the scanner of the Communist Party of India-Marxist's (CPI-M) labour arm Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).

"This is a serious matter and something must be done to verify the credentials of the cabbies. Since a major chunk of the taxi drivers are from other states, it is essential to keep track.

"We have not received any communication on the issue from the state transport department yet, but we will look into it and see if we can come up with steps to ensure safety," CITU leader and former minister Anadi Sahu told IANS.

According to Siddhartha Pahwa, Group CEO, Meru Cabs Co. Pvt Ltd., each driver working for the company has to get police verification done and the company also keeps the biometric record of the driver.

Additionally, the taxi company uses technology to track each and every trip, said Pahwa.

"This incident is most unfortunate and at this sensitive time our thoughts are with the victim and the family.

"As leaders who have built this category, passenger safety has always been our highest priority. This industry has two components: the consumer and the driver and we have always focused on building the right ecosystem," said Pahwa in a statement.


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