PSV badge can improve safety of cab passengers: Meru director

New Delhi, May 23:  There government needs to encourage the use of Public Service Vehicle (PSV) badges by cab drivers as this is a major security safeguard for passengers, particularly women, Meru Cabs director Rahul Kapani has said.

He said proper execution of the law, which makes it mandatory for a taxi driver to have a PSV badge, can reduce the possibility of crimes committed by cab drivers.

“The law says if you want to drive in Delhi then you must have a PSV badge which involves a physical verification by the Delhi Police, including checking the address provided, besides the backgrounds or any criminal records,” Kapani told IANS adding, “Law is there but its proper implementation is needed.”

Till about a decade ago, it was mandatory for all cab and autorickshaw drivers to wear a badge and uniform but today, this is observed more in breach than in practice.

According to the norms, a driver who wants to get a PSV badge will have to submit documents like a local commercial driving licence, proof of local address, a sworn affidavit by the applicant that he has no criminal record, and certificate of three days’ training from an authorised training school in Delhi having track facilities.

Kapani said it is not a complicated process but with the increase in the number of taxis people have become lax. He said most drivers associated with cab aggregators do not have a PSV badge.

“Hardly five to 10 percent of drivers have a PSV badge in Delhi. Meru complies with the law 100 percent,” Kapani said.

Kapani said that in most of the past inciddent drivers without PSV badges were involved.

“When a driver has a badge then he is making a statement that he is unlikely to commit a crime on the job. This is his livelihood. With this in place, chances of a crime or misbehaviour with a commuter by a cab driver becomes minimum,” Kapani said.

Kapani said the cab aggregators should also help the drivers in getting a PSV badge.

“However, most of the aggregators do not encourage PSV badge as they want drivers to be recruited quickly. Their source is people from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan who do not meet the criterion for getting a PSV badge as it require local commercial driving licence and local address proof for a certain period of time,” he said.

Meru is the third largest online cab aggregator in India and is operating in around 20 cities across the country. In Delhi, Meru is operating around 2,500 cabs, he said.

On surge pricing Kapani said, “It should be there but within the limit of maximum retail price.”