Poor response to smart cards for autorickshaws | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Poor response to smart cards for autorickshaws

Delhi transport department is planning a major offensive against finance mafia-run auto rickshaws in Delhi.

delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2010 00:24 IST
Atul Mathur

Delhi transport department is planning a major offensive against finance mafia-run auto rickshaws in Delhi.

Taking a strict view of auto-rickshaw owners who failed to apply for conversion of their permits into smart cards, the transport department has decided to initiate the process of cancelling these permits.

Delhi transport commissioner R.K.Verma said the permit holders who fail to turn up by February 3 will be served a notice. “After February 20, we will start cancelling permits,” Verma said.

According to transport department officials, the smart cards are being issued to only genuine permit holders who physically appear before the department and furnish details like valid permit, address proof of the permit holder, details of the drivers and the badge issued by the transport department to run auto-rickshaws.

Of 55,000 auto-rickshaws in Delhi, less than 17,000 have appeared before the department for conversion of permits into smart cards. Poor response to the drive, said officials, prove that most auto-rickshaws are either owned by financiers or by such people who cannot come in open, on benaami names and are rent out to hapless drivers at exorbitant rates. These drivers, thus, resort to fleecing the passengers and over-charge them to make both their ends meet.

Apart from permit details, smart cards will also include biometrics of the permit holder, names and badge number of six drivers who would be authorised to run those autos. There will be space in the chip of the card to park details and offences and challans issued to the auto drivers.

Once permits are converted into smart cards, said transport officials, it will be easier for them to maintain a database.

“There are several people who have applied for permits to run auto-rickshaws in Delhi. Since there is Supreme Court cap on the number of auto-rickshaws that could ply in the city, we cannot consider these applications. We will issue new permits to these people against those who fail to turn up by the last date for conversion of their permits,” a transport department official said.