KOLKATA: Commuters can now register complaints through WhatsApp or phone calls against yellow taxi drivers if they refuse to drive them to any location within Kolkata. While commuters can call up toll-free number 1800345592 on weekdays from 11 am to 5 pm and register their complaints with the taxi's registration number, they can also send the registration number to WhatsApp number 8902017191 which will be open throughout the day and night.
While license of the taxi driver will be suspended for three months after the first complaint and for six months after the second complaint, the driver's license will be cancelled permanently if complaints are received thrice.
West Bengal transport department stated that the move was necessitated after it received several complaints of commuters being over-charged, refused transportation or refused bill from the meters.
Prior to the decision, transport department officials met with representatives of the Bengal Taxi Association, West Bengal Drivers' Welfare Association, Progressive Taxi Association and Calcutta Taxi Association. They have welcomed the move.
"Till now we used to ourselves take action or informed Motor Vehicles Department upon receipt of complaints against drivers refusing commuters or over-charging them. We welcome the state government's decision as we too want customers to be satisfied for the money they are paying," Bengal Taxi Association president Bimal Guha. Commuters have also welcomed the decision.
"This move gives more power to the people but commuters should not misuse it," said Shyambazar resident Amit Ganguly.
"The haughtiness of the yellow taxi drivers had reduced after they lost a large chunk of their businesses to the app-based cabs. This move will further make them polite to the commuters," said Naktala resident Debanjan Nagchoudhury.