The transport department will be assigned the job, said a Delhi government source. Transport minister Saurabh Bharadwaj could not be contacted.
In 1998, following an SC order, the transport department had delegated its powers to the traffic police to prosecute auto drivers as the department did not have enough manpower to do the job.
Transport department officials are unhappy with the move. “It will cause inconvenience to commuters who often go to the police when auto drivers overcharge or refuse to go to certain locations. It is likely to put commuters at a disadvantage as auto-rickshaws will go scot-free,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
Traffic police, on June 13 last year, started issuing hefty penalties of minimum Rs. 2,000 on auto-rickshaw drivers for refusing service or overcharging.
In 2013, 1.26 lakh challan were issued to auto drivers for various offences.