The West Bengal Transport Department on Thursday announced that commercial number plates will be mandatory for app-bikes in the state.
The private motorcycles and scooters giving such app-bike services will have to apply separately for registration with the state transport department and get number plates for that purpose.
The decision to enable the state transport department to generate additional revenue from this sector, was taken at a meeting of the state Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty with representatives of different app-cab services providers on Tuesday, a senior official.
"In the meeting, the state transport minister emphasised on bringing the app-bikes under regulations similar to that of app-cabs. Till now it was not mandatory for the app-bikes to have commercial number plates and many used their personal motorcycles or scooters with private number plates as app-bikes.
"However, with this decision these private motorcycle or scooter owners will now have to separately apply to the state transport department for registration to operate app-bike service and get commercial number plates for their two- wheelers," the transport department official said.
He also said that currently over 50 per cent of the two-wheelers providing app-bike services have private number plates.
The official said that all attempts will be made to make the process of registering the two-wheelers with private number plates hassle-free as far as possible.
"The department will open temporary camps in certain districts, where the owners of such two-wheelers will be able to register their vehicle for app-bike service paying a paltry registration fee of just Rs 1,000. After the registration process is done, they will be provided with the commercial number plates," he said.
At the same time, it has also decided to expand the area where app-bike services will be allowed.
"Currently the area of app-bike services are restricted to Kolkata, Howrah City area and South 24 Parganas. Now, two other districts namely Hooghly and North 24 Parganas will also be included," he said.