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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 21 September: FACING the heat of competition from mobile app-based cab services such as Ola and Uber, the Bengal Taxi Association has announced the reintroduction of Puja Parikrama service for Kolkata pandal hoppers after a gap of three years.

Not only this, the association is also making some value addition at per with that of the app-based cabs.

Bengal Taxi Association is the largest organisation of taxi operators in Kolkata, now having around 22,000 yellow cabs under its fold.  The last time it had operated Puja Parikrama in the city was in 2012.

“We are bringing back Puja Parikrama this Puja and the service shall be available for four days from Maha Shasthi through Bijoya Dashami, the association president Bimal Guha told a news conference today.

“The taxis booked for Puja Parikrama will have newspapers, bottled drinking water, mobile pay phone, first aid, and above all, VIP passes to most of the famous Puja pandals in Kolkata. The drivers will not only drive people to the pandals but will also guide them about the easiest ways to the pandals as they know the city well,” he said.

Guha said that to avail of the Puja Parikrama service, people shall have to make a call to 24753505 or, 24742249 in advance for booking a cab. “The charges for a taxi in Puja Parikrama will be Rs 350 per hour. But we will give 10 per cent rebate to senior citizens and specially-abled persons,” he added.

Unlike the cabs offered by Ola, Uber, the taxis in Puja Parikrama, however, will not be air-conditioned. But then, the app-based cabs would go for surge pricing as the demand rises cutting into the pocket of the commuters.