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What's in the color?

(Penstar photo)

Taxi drivers are complaining again. This is nothing new, I think. But this time, I think they are far more rational than their authority. Of course we feel what RSTA is attempting to do by trying to implement a uniform taxi color is in the best interest of society. Well, I hope so. It is for uniformity. No doubt about that. And I think it would look so nice to have uniformly colored taxis plying on Bhutanese road reaching people to their destinations.  But taxi drivers don’t quite see it as simple as that.

Bhutan is a highly superstitious society, meaning our every aspect of our life depends upon our astrological stars. Someone gives birth, astrologer is consulted; someone has to travel far, he consults his astrologer; someone marries, astrological divination is sought; likewise it is understood that even when someone buys a car, his/her kham has to match the color. I can’t explain it clearly here.

So, it is disturbing to see such policies come into force to the dissatisfaction of the taxi drivers. I wish color had anything to do with the safety aspect. We see RSTA carrying out much more important role than to monitor the color of taxis. Since our cabs already have yellow hoods that is uniformity enough. 

For instance, the authority has to ensure there is a fair taxis fares levied to all the commuters. This is not really uniform, but rather left to the whims of the taxi drivers. When gasoline prices go up, taxi fares go proportionately. Yes, that’s completely understandable. But then they remain static even when petrol prices go down. What should we do? Our observation is, just like the prices of the petrol prices, fares should go up and down. We see also RSTA creating an increased awareness in drivers on the hazards of driving and talking on the phone, speeding issue, etc. 

Once I took a taxi from Paro and thank god we reached Thimphu safely. Our driver was engaged in a lively conversation on his mobile phone the entire one-hour journey.

P.S: Purely my personal observation and in no way attempts to pass judgments on any individual or organization


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