The Bengal government has decided to increase the number of permits for share taxis that carry passengers from Darjeeling to Sikkim, bringing relief to operating syndicates in the Hills. On Sunday, Pradip Lama, president of Pahar Terai Sanjukta Parivahan Mahasangh (PTSPM), an apex body of transport syndicates in the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration, expressed gratitude to the state for hearing the association’s demand.
With no permits, majority of the share taxis that travel with passengers and tourists are forced to ply at risk of being fined or seized. “It is mostly the common people who travel in share taxis, but these vehicles do not have permits to travel to Sikkim. Now, 30 taxis will be given permits. The number will increase in phases. The joint secretary has assured us that the quota will be increased to 500, but the vehicles will have to be under operating syndicates,” the PTSPM president said.
According to Lama, updated documents of the 30 vehicles will have to be submitted, along with the requisite fee, to the regional transport department in Darjeeling. At present, taxis from syndicates in Darjeeling are allowed to travel to the four districts of Sikkim. However, they can only pick up and drop off passengers.
Source: Times of India