New clause may delay autorickhaw permits in Delhi, drivers agitated
Just when the permit allotment process was concluded and a list of selected applicants was announced, the government has decided to add another clause to the scheme.delhi Updated: Jul 14, 2017 23:57 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s promise of issuing 10,000 new permits to autorickshaw drivers has hit a roadblock.
Just when the permit allotment process was concluded and a list of selected applicants was announced, the government has decided to add another clause to the scheme. The clause, being added on the directions of chief minister Arivnd Kejriwal, would prohibit those drivers who had been allotted an auto permit at any point of time earlier, from getting the new one.
“The criteria will be applicable on even those who had an auto permit at some point and no longer have it now. Last month, we had released the list of 11,177 shortlisted applicants. With the new clause, it is likely that many would be removed from this list,” an official said.
Besides, with the new clause in place, the government will now have to look into its database of the past 30 years to check who had permits at any point of time. While the permits were to be issued last month, the introduction of the new clause is expected to delay the process further. The new permits will be issued on the basis of seniority and not on a first-cum-first serve basis.
Auto drivers agitated
The move has not gone down well with autorickshaw drivers. On Friday, they went to the lieutenant governor’s office to voice their protest. “Earlier, while calling for applications of 10,000 auto permits, the rule was that only those who currently do not hold any permit, including auto or commercial, were not eligible. It is illegal to change the rules after the process is complete and the shortlisted candidates were announced,” said Kishan Verma, president of All Delhi Auto-Taxi Transport Congress.
Union members are going to meet the transport minister to discuss the issue on Monday. “Is the government not siding with the auto mafia this way? This mafia buys auto badges in bulk and sells it at a premium price,” he added.
In January, the government had sought fresh applications from interested drivers, the deadline for which ended on Monday. The transport department said it has received 22,625 applications — the highest ever so far.