Ahmedabad Mirror | June 4, 2016

If all goes well, then Amdavadis will be able to use civic body authorised prepaid taxi and autorickshaw service. The pan-city service is likely to be launched on June 25 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Ahmedabad to kick off the 'smart city project'. As per the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the pilot project will make available services from 30 spots in the city. If successful, stops will be set up at 225 points.

The venture, to be operated by a private firm, is being launched under the name 'Namasteji'. Alpesh Doshi, director of service provider Shree Padmavati Online Services Pvt. Ltd. that signed an MoU with the civic body during Vibrant Gujarat 2015 said, "We have taken necessary permissions from city police and traffic police. Booths fitted with CCTV cameras will be set up at 30 select spots as part of the pilot project. Eventually, we want to ensure passengers can avail services within every 300 meters and for this, we will need to set up 600 booths across the city. The first phase will have 225 booths."

Confirming this, an AMC official said, "We have given permission to the company to set up booths subject to necessary police clearance and conditions. Citizens will be able to pay the fare through an AMC-authorised common payment card. Citizens will be able to get autorickshaws or taxis near their home. However, the service operator will have to pay the AMC for the booth — the rent will be equal to 10% jantri (ready reckoner) of the plot nearest to the booth." Doshi said the pilot project will provide services of 10 rickshaw unions and two taxi unions.

"A total 60,000 autos and 1,200 taxis are currently affiliated with us. Each vehicle will be equipped with a GPS system and the passenger will be given a prepaid bill to ensure there is no extra fare involved. The fares will be based on government norms with additional tax changers," he said, clarifying that all drivers will be verified by police. As per the MOU, the service provider will employ physically challenged individuals at the booths while 850 will be hired from the employment exchange.


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