Soon, detailed guideline for better regulation of two-wheelers used for commercial purposes

Kolkata: The state Transport department will soon come out with a detailed guideline for better regulation and safe operation of the two-wheelers used for commercial purposes. They have also requested the stakeholders to share their views on the same within September 30.

The department will frame the guideline while keeping in mind the interests of young unemployed youth or students from weak economic backgrounds. With the online platforms and e-commerce activities multiplying exponentially, more non-transport two-wheelers are being used for commercial purposes. According to a senior transport official, while the introduction of new commercial and business activities is welcomed, the unauthorised and illegal use of non-transport two-wheelers as transport vehicles for commercial purposes cannot be allowed any longer.

Recently, a meeting was conducted by department secretary Soumitra Mohan with regards to the irregular operations and use of non-transport two-wheelers for commercial activities.

Different stakeholders, including aggregators, corporate houses as well as agencies like Ola, Uber, Rapido, InDrive, Durgapur Cab Services, Amazon, Flipkart, Zomato and Swiggy attended the meeting.

The state Transport department advised operators to convert the non-transport two-wheelers into transport category before using them for commercial purposes. It was decided that all the stakeholders using the two-wheelers unauthorised for commercial purposes need to be brought under an oversight mechanism immediately in accordance with the relevant Motor Vehicles Acts and Rules.

The introduction of a nominal fee against on-boarding of such vehicles for each platform was proposed. It was suggested that a particular vehicle could be issued multiple permissions against a notified fee for on-boarding an online or offline platform, which will be valid for a year.

A section of the stakeholders agreed to shoulder the financial responsibility for the required conversion and also recommended the signing of an annual agreement with these two-wheeler owners for enforcing institutional loyalty.

The department had earlier issued a notification allowing bike-taxis to operate in five districts instead of the existing three. According to the notification issued on March 2, the permit will be for “contract carriage”. The application for the same will be made to the Regional Transport Authority of the regions in which majority if the proposed route lies. The bike-taxis will be allowed in five adjacent and interconnected districts.

According to a Transport official, the department had given the service providers an opportunity to register the bikes under commercial licensing but for the longest it was not carried out. This time the department is strict with the bike-taxi operations. They have asked the police to keep a lookout for bike-taxis with private number plates.

State transport minister Snehasis Chakraborty had earlier said that currently 15,000 to 20,000 bike taxis are operating, most of which are running under private registration.

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