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Kolkata kisses goodbye to Ambi?

The famous yellow Ambassador cabs may soon disappear from Kolkata’s roads. This follows the West Bengal government’s decision to allow other passenger cars that can seat five or more to ply as a cab.

Sabyasachi Bagchi, Vice Chairman, Kolkata Regional Transport Authority, said the state has decided to throw the market open to more technologically advanced vehicles. It will also extend a cash incentive of Rs 25,000 to buyers of new taxis to drive self-employment programme. Hitherto the incentive was being offered only to the monopoly taxi provider Hindustan Motors Ltd.

It’s not that Ambassador has had a free run, because both Maruti’s Wagon R and Tata Motors’ Indica were allowed to operate as metered taxis in Kolkata.

The Kolkata move follows the Mumbai’s move which has decided to phase out nearly 5000 Premier Padmini taxis in line with a Maharashtra Government decision to ban cabs that are more than 20 years old from plying in the city.

The Ambassador car, in production for more than 50 years, owes its body to the Morris Oxford car of England and has remained unchanged over the years.


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