KOCHI: Though the She Taxi project received a warm response in the city, the women-drivers who are on 24-hour call are yet to be provided with a proper stand.
Under the project, initiated under the aegis of the Gender Park, 10 She Taxis were launched in the city last week. 17 more taxis will be launched in the coming months.
While the women drivers of She Taxis are also willing to operate outside the city, by taking trips to Thrissur and other districts, what they demand is proper parking facility.
“We leave our homes when we receive the first call. However, after the trip gets over, we are forced to wait at any place where space is available. If we are provided with a taxi stand we could go and wait there,” said Nisha P V, a beneficiary of She Taxi project.
Gender Park project manager Ijaz Khan said the firm had requested the Kochi Corporation to provide a suitable stand for the She Taxis.
“We are expecting a positive response from the Corporation as the State Government has sought the intervention of the local self-government body in this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Corporation officials said that the issue needed to be addressed by the Town Planning Committee.
“We need to find a suitable stand for the She Taxis that is both safe for the women-drivers and accessible to the passengers. This will take some time. However, a suitable place will be made available to them,” Corporation officials said.
However, there are apprehensions that the project would likely get the same response from the Corporation as the response the Auto Taxis got. The she Auto Taxis launched by the Kudumbasree a few months ago are still operating without a proper stand in the Kaloor-Elamakkara stretch.
Most of the Auto Taxis stopped plying after the Corporation failed to provide a separate parking place for them, despite a High Court order.
Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany said it was difficult to find a parking place in the city for the taxis as most of the places were already occupied.
“The She Taxi service was received well in Kochi, with a total of 235 calls being made from various centres. As many as 55 bookings have been done so far, of which 31 trips have been completed. The total amount collected so far is Rs 20,274,” said officials associated with the project.
Currently, the She Taxis are operating at Kaloor,Tripunithura and Kakkanad. There are plans to extend the service to Fort Kochi, Palarivattom, Edappally and Vyttila.