Darjeeling, June 13: The Darjeeling district administration has decided to issue permits for meter taxis in Siliguri, which is the biggest towns in north Bengal.
Siliguri does not have meter taxis at present and public transport is largely confined to shared autorickshaws, mini buses and a local train.
Puneet Yadav, the district magistrate of Darjeeling, said: “We have decided to issue permits to 1,000 meter taxis in Siliguri. They will be fitted with a GPS system. There will be facilities for printed receipts and the taxis will have ‘no refusal signs’. The taxi colour will be two blue stripes on a white base.”
The district administration said it would be issuing a public notice within the next one week. “Once the notice is issued, we will give time to the applicants. We are hopeful that the taxis will roll out by September, just before the Pujas,” said Yadav.
The taxis will have to be fitted with not less than a 1150 cc engine. The administration has not prescribed any car brand for the taxi. Asked if the current transporters and mainly the auto owners had raised any objection to taxi’s, Yadav said: “Till now there have not been any written complaints.”
The meter taxis will only be introduced in the Siliguri-Jalpaiguri development area as of now. “If anyone raises the issue (for introduction in the hills) then we will forward their concerns to the state government,” said Yadav.
The administration is expected to work out other modalities like parking space for meter taxis soon.