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Karnataka Government Unveils New Rule Against Surge Pricing
The transport department of Karnataka has finally unveiled the new guidelines for taxi services and the surge that they are allowed to charge. The Motor Vehicle Act has been amended with effect from April 2 under which the rates have been fixed by the government.
The new guidelines which have been prescribed by the State Transport Department of Karnataka, the maximum chargeable fare for AC cabs is Rs. 19.5 / km and Rs. 14.5 / km for non AC cabs.
“Taxis will not be allowed to charge more during peak hours. But the operators can certainly lower tariff to gain a competitive edge,” HG Kumar, Additional Commissioner, State Transport Authority told ToI.
This means that taxis are now not allowed to charge additional surcharge for operating after hours. Apart from the rates that are prescribed by the government, some other technical points have also been covered such as:
- GPS / GPRS systems are to be compulsorily installed in the said taxi. Not only this, the rules also state the specification sof the devices that are to be installed
- Panic button connected to the control is also mandatory. So in case the passenger is felt threatened, he / she can alert the nearest police station by pressing the panic button.
- Annual courses for drivers on gender sensitization, safe driving and etiquettes will be documented.
The new laws are being formulated keeping in mind the rise in crime in the state. There have been a number of cases where women passengers were harassed, molested or even raped by taxi drivers. Other crimes such as stealing passengers goods, charging unfair fares have also came forward. The government is hoping to curb the crime rate by making the taxi drivers more responsible, educated and accountable.