With an eye on the forthcoming elections, the state government has decided to revive 50% of its dormant autorickshaw permits, while keeping the decision on taxi permits and the remaining auto permits pending.
However, even after four years of discussions, the government has failed to decide on how many permits should be kept reserved for various categories.
“We have decided to release about 32,000 autorickshaw permits for the Mumbai metropolitan region and 14,000 for other parts of the state in the first phase,” said Shailesh Kumar Sharma, transport secretary, and added that the decision on the remaining 50% permits will be taken in next phase.
In April 2009, the transport commissioner’s office had proposed the revival of 66,314 dormant permits across the state.
Of those, 4,000 taxi permits were reissued to a radio taxi firm in 2010, but a decision about the remaining permits was stuck in redtapism.
Meanwhile, the number of dormant permits rose to 94,000 for autos and 15,687 for taxis.
Transport commissioner VN More said he hadn’t seen any communication from the state Total dormant permits as on April 2013 autos taxis government as he was in Delhi on Tuesday.
However, transport department sources said that while the state government decided to issue about 46,000 out of 94,400 dormant auto rickshaw permits, the question of how to issue them is still unanswered.
“The decision about this will be taken by the transport commissioner,” said Sharma.
If the state hasn’t yet decided on reserving permits for women, ex-servicemen, mill workers and handicapped persons, what has it done in the last four years?
This is the question being raised by autorickshaw unions and the transFor the first phase the state government decided to issue 32,000 auto permits in Mumbai 14,000 autos permits in the rest of the state The remaining 50% permits will be issued in the second phase Decision on taxi permits also pending with the state govt. transport industry.
“Issuing permits is in the power of the regional transport authority. The state government had to only decide criteria and guidelines for issuing those. We don’t understand why the government took such a long time to decide,” said a source in the transport industry.
Auto unions blamed the the chief minister, transport secretary and transport commissioner for the delay.
“There is a huge shortage of permits and we were expecting a quick decision from the chief minister,” said Shashank Rao, leader of Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s union.