INDIA CROSSING THE RIVER GANGES The taxi is one of the few nostalgic icons that represent Kolkata. Countless love-tours; many a sight-seeing around the city of joy has been in these taxis. After surviving many rounds of makeover; like the trams and the rickshaws; threat-bell has rung for the taxis too. Some 35; 000 taxis ply on these streets everyday; ferrying at least three lakh passengers. Yet owners say their business is at an all time low. Thanks to the alleged onslaught of private shuttle cars and auto rickshaws. “Earlier there are examples where owners expanded their fleet from a single taxi to 20 taxis. These days it's just the opposite. Those who owned 20 taxis are barely managing to retain two; " said SK Guha, President, Bengal Taxi Association. Taxi service in Kolkata began a hundred years ago. They've been immortalized in many a movie by directors like Satyajit Ray and Aparna Sen. Over the years taxis evolved through various models to finally rest with the good old Ambassador. But now, like the Amby, these yellow cabs are fast losing out to new kids on the block."