Besides change in colour to blue and white with a navy blue band, all taxis would have registration number, no refusal and AC or non-AC marked on both sides with immediate effect, according to a government order quoted by Transport minister Madan Mitra today.
Of 4,000 new permits to be issued shortly, 2,000 would be for AC and 2,000 for non-AC and would be issued in a day or two, Mitra said.
Stating that passengers would not be inconvenienced, Mitra said "it will be ensured that rules are followed by taxi operators and passengers are provided justice."
Strongly opposing the condition that the permits would be issued to operators with an undertaking that they would not participate in agitation or shut downs, Bengal Taxi Association President Bimal Guha said that no member would do so.
Describing it as an infringement of democratic rights, he said "No government has a right to interfere in one's democratic right and the condition for distribution of new taxi permit is unjustified. We strongly oppose it."
Guha said that the transport minister has called them to a meeting tomorrow to discuss the issue.