With the Supreme Court lifting the ban on registration of new auto-rickshaws in the Capital, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh said that the government now had a bigger task ahead.
“We will have to see that chaos does not rule the roads. If needed we may have to change the norms,” he said.
Experts agreed that the addition of new auto-rickshaws on city roads would help improve the skewed ratio of demand and supply. In the coming months, with three times the autos available, drivers will not be able to refuse to take passengers or over-charge them. Auto-rickshaws will also be allowed to move freely in the NCR region.
“From the commuters’ point of view, the lifting of the ban on registration of autos is a good idea. With limited capacity, however, it might lead to chaos on roads,” said PK Sarkar, a transport expert. | How the decision was taken
The view was echoed by private vehicle drivers too. “Auto-rickshaws are one of the biggest nuisance on city roads. They run on the over-taking lane at a speed of 30-35 kilometre per hour and do not allow cars and two-wheelers to over take. With an increase in their number, problems for other motorists are only going to compound,” said Prashant Malhotra, a chartered accountant.
Elaborating upon his statement of changing rules and norms of issuing permits, the transport minister said that the department might explore the possibility of giving district-wise permits to auto-rickshaws to ply in a particular area.
“We may think of dividing Delhi in different regions and giving permits for particular regions. We will have a much-strengthened public transport along the arterial roads. We will study the order and discuss it in the cabinet,” Singh said.
Auto-rickshaw drivers, however, said they would now need more stands to park their vehicles. “There are only 350 authorised auto-stands in the Capital, while we need at least 5,000. We have been asking the traffic police to provide more,” said Rajendra Soni, president, Bharat Auto-rickshaw Chalak Sangh.