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Mumbai's Palkhi Cabs to have CCTVs for riders too

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Mumbais Palkhi Cabs to have CCTVs for riders too
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Mumbai:  New cab aggregator Palkhi Cabs will install CCTVs in all its taxis to film passengers as an extra safety feature, top company officials said here on Tuesday.

The company, launching operations in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, from February 1 will make the service optional and for a nominal fee only.

It could be live-streamed on mobile phones of the passengers, their family members or friends to ensure their security during the ride.

The recordings will be available on the company's cloud storage for three months and will act as a deterrent for rude or drunk passengers who misbehave with the drivers.

"We may charge around Rs 15/20 per ride and the passengers will have the option to switch off the CCTVs if they are not comfortable. It is nothing when the question of security of women, children or senior citizens is involved," company COO Arif Vanoo told IANS.

"In case of any emergency during the ride, we shall be alerted by a pop-up message and get into action immediately," said founder-CEO Praful Shinde of Palkhi Cabs, which was launched in January 2019.

Palkhi Cabs' initial fleet of 200 vehicles will have dashboard cameras to record road visuals and another at the back for passengers, which will be monitored by a central control room of the company.

Since all passengers may not be comfortable with the idea of being filmed throughout their rides, the camera control will be with them so that they can switch it off if they wanted, said Vanoo.

Though the cab aggregators are beyond the purview of the Motor Vehicles Act, Shinde said the company doesn't plan to implement surge pricing but would adhere to the City Taxi Rules of the Maharashtra Transport Department.

The Mumbai's public sector BEST bus service has installed CCTVs on its fleet. The state government is insisting on emergency buttons in private taxis with GPS-tracking device, with data accessible to passengers and five other family members or friends.

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