The system has been put in place to stop drivers with criminal records from picking up passengers. Taxi drivers in Delhi are notorious for robbing and sexually assaulting passengers.
A police official has verified that over 2,500 taxi operators have been issued biometric ID cards. The cards include important details about the driver including the driver’s contact number, photograph, address and information about the driver’s licence and vehicle.
Drivers will have to swipe the card on a machine and provide thumb prints to enter the taxi lane at the airport. The machine will send details to a central server and if the data matches approved profiles in a centralized database, the taxi driver will be allowed to enter the airport.
The system is also designed to record information about the taxicab’s passengers. Once a passenger has booked a taxi at the information counter, the person’s name, passport information and address is also sent to the server. The passenger data is then reconciled to the taxicab that is hired.
“Once the taxi leaves the bay, the driver will have to swipe his card again. The server will record the entry and exit timings of the taxi and details of the passenger travelling in that taxi. This way, we will have a record of who is travelling with which driver. In case of a mishap, it will be easier to trace the driver,” an official at the Delhi Police said.
Despite the fact that the system is suppose to work seamlessly, the Times of India has reported problems over the past couple of days due to a lack of thumb impressions being taken. Police officials however noted the issue was relatively minor and was related to a traffic mishap.
Critics of the system have been sceptical due to the length of time the system has taken to implement. Biometric ID cards were suppose to be in place for taxicab drivers at the New Delhi airport in 2010 for the Commonwealth Games.