Transport dept issues comprehensive advisory for tourists, taxi unions, others

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SRINAGAR: In a bid to enhance tourist experiences, the transport Department of Jammu & Kashmir has issued a comprehensive advisory for the visitors, taxi unions and cab drivers in Kashmir.

The advisory, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) asked that taxi unions and individuals to refrain from obstructing or restricting vehicles with valid permits, leaving such actions to the authority of local administration or traffic, tourist police.

“Taxi Unions or any person representing such unions or any individual driver especially at popular tourist destinations like Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Gulmarg, and Dodhpathri etc. shall ensure that no tourist vehicle that carries an all India/J&K permit is obstructed or restricted in any manner or force any tourist to alight from the vehicle before the conclusion of the journey. Only an authority of the local administration or traffic/tourist police shall be competent to do so,” states the advisory.

The advisory, a copy of which also lies with KNO, encompasses various facets of responsible and professional conduct expected from taxi operators, aimed at providing tourists with a hassle-free and enjoyable journey.

According to the advisory issued, transport department has outlined specific guidelines and protocols that taxi drivers must adhere to at all times:

Documentation: Drivers are required to carry essential documents, including a valid driving license, vehicle registration certificate, fitness certificate, vehicle insurance policy, permit copy, PUC certificate, and a list of tourists.

Display of Information: Clear display of registration number plates and permit type on vehicles is mandated to ensure transparency and accountability.

Vehicle Standards: Vehicles must be well-maintained, clean, and regularly serviced. Neat seat covers and a first aid kit are obligatory.

Uniforms: Drivers must wear prescribed uniforms while on duty, as specified by the Transport Department.

Queue Management: Drivers are expected to follow queue systems at airports and other designated places without manipulation or jumping queues.

Fair Pricing: Overcharging is strictly prohibited, and drivers must adhere to the legal fare without imposing additional charges.

Refusal and Alighting: Refusal to carry tourists or asking paid passengers to alight prematurely is forbidden without valid reasons.

Contingency Measures: In case of mechanical breakdowns or unforeseen circumstances, drivers must arrange alternative transportation for tourists to reach their destination.

Lost Items: Drivers are obligated to conduct a thorough search for any items left by tourists in their vehicles at the end of each journey.

Customer Interaction: Politeness and respectful behavior towards customers are mandatory, fostering a positive and welcoming atmosphere for tourists.

No Smoking Policy: Smoking while on duty is strictly prohibited.

Complaint Handling: Drivers must provide tourists with complaint books upon request and periodically submit them to permit issuing authorities.

Mobile Connectivity: Drivers should ensure their mobile phones are charged and have internet connectivity enabled whenever possible.

No Cell Phone Use While Driving: Cell phone usage while driving is prohibited, and if necessary, drivers must pull over to the left and halt before taking calls.

Avoid Overloading: Vehicles must not be overloaded with passengers or luggage, ensuring passenger safety and comfort.