After the Maharashtra Cabinet Minister of Transport Diwakar Raote told Ola and Uber drivers/owners to paint their cars bhagwa (saffron) or a daffodil yellow, there’s an outrage from Maharashtra Tourist Permit Sanghatana. They wrote a letter to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on April 6, where they mentioned how the new Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2017 is an injustice to drivers operating taxis for app-based operators like Uber and Ola.
Politics over ‘Bhagwa’
A concerned union also claimed that dirty politics is being played in Maharashtra. In a state where all religions live peacefully, giving taxis the saffron colour will add fuel to the rising hatred among communities.
Shiv Sena is known for practising ‘Hindutva’ and floating an agenda where they show their love for Hindus through the smallest of things. His decision of enforcing the app operated taxis to paint their car saffron will again create controversy and people will stand divided.
The Union says that The Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2017 is being implemented and there is need to solve this issue at hand.
Drivers can’t afford the cost
There are around 2.5 lakh drivers in Mumbai and its nearby cities which will be affected heavily as Ola and Uber operates in those areas. Most of the drivers come from the middle class family and painting their cars will cost them a hefty sum—and would be quite unaffordable—as most of them pay installments of car loan.
The Government has also asked them to install e-meters similar to kaali-peeli auto riskhaw and installing GPS inside car will also be expensive. Hence, the Union is asking how will poor driver or owner will bear cost.
Recently, Ola and Uber driver went on a one-day strike over their demands and now again, they are facing new problem where they have to paint their cars. Most of them are unhappy, according to the Union.
Some taxi drivers have also sent letter to Dhananjay Munde opposition leader in Maharashtra against this decision as they believe the Union won’t help them in this case and as an individual, who isn’t associated with any Union, will have to change it to work with Ola and Uber—and there will be no option left.