Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday launched the LDF government’s own e-taxi service app – named ‘Kerala Savari’ – in what is said to be the first such initiative by any state in the country. Vijayan also flagged off auto-rickshaws at the app launch event, which will operate under the new online taxi hiring service launched by the state labor department.
Under the new initiative, the state government will connect the existing autorickshaw-taxi network in Kerala with an aim to ensure safe and dispute-free travel for the public at affordable rates prevailing in the state.
The government said last month that it is also envisaged as a help to the autorickshaw-taxi labor sector, which is facing several challenges, when it announced the launch of the service.
The government had said that it has come to know that there is a difference of 20-30 percent between the rate paid to motor transport workers and the rate charged from passengers in all existing online cab services.
As people prefer to use online taxi services, many traditional taxi stands have disappeared and a large number of motor transport workers have been rendered jobless, the government had said.
Kerala Motor Transport Workers Welfare Fund Board is the implementing agency, which will work in collaboration with departments like Legal Metrology, Transport, IT, Police etc.
Kerala Savari will charge only eight per cent service charge over and above the rate fixed by the government, which was 20 to 30 per cent in other online taxis, the government had said.
The amount collected as service fee will be used for project implementation and incentive incentives for passengers and drivers.
A police clearance certificate has been made mandatory for the drivers joining the scheme and the app also has a ‘panic button’ feature which can be used in case of any accident or any other similar danger.
“It has been decided to implement this scheme all over the state. At present, there are 500 auto-taxi drivers in Thiruvananthapuram corporation limits as members of the scheme. Officers from different departments have imparted training to them in various subjects.” The government had said