One of the reasons why auto drivers overcharge you is the increasing control of the financer mafia on auto-rickshaws in Delhi.
Financers own a majority of autos under benami names (by proxy) and rent out to poor drivers who overcharge to make ends meet.
In an attempt to streamline the murky business of issuing and transferring auto permits, the transport department will now convert auto permits into smart cards. Apart from the permit details, smart cards will also include biometrics of the permit holder.
“This will help us in identifying the permit holders. His fingerprints and photographs will also be captured,” transport commissioner RK Verma said.
“We are streamlining our back-end system and will soon come up with a notice asking auto owners to report to our office with the relevant details. It will take about 8-10 months to complete the entire process,” Verma added.
Senior transport officials accept that there are a few people who own hundreds of auto permits in benami names. They either got the permits from the transport department in the names of their relatives and servants or bought permits and even got them transferred by illegal means from the original permit holders.
Since the Supreme Court has fixed the number of autos allowed in the Capital at 55,000, a three-wheeler along with the permit costs at least three times its actual price. That’s why financiers invest money and take control of the permit and the auto.