The Delhi government is going to issue as many as 10,000 auto-rickshaw permits to drivers next month.
The move is aimed to woo its key vote base ahead of the MCD elections in Delhi as auto-rickshaw drivers had helped the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) even in their campaign during the Assembly elections in 2015.
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.
“It was the first time the entire application process was made online, still we received an overwhelming response. Last year when we wanted to issue fresh auto permits, we got around 14,000 applications,” said a transport official.
The department has formed teams to verify the applications and permits shall be disbursed soon. “Only those applicants will get the TSR permit who do not have any other permits. The new permits will be issued on the basis of seniority and non first-cum-first serve,” the official added.
Once these permits are issued then auto-rickshaws in the capital would cross the one lakh mark. Officials said the favourable response was because the process was kept simple this time. Unlike previous years, the department did not seek any documents for applying and only license and badge number of the person was required.
Besides, the government is also mulling to set up halt-and-go auto stands on the roads of Public Works Department (PWD), a move aimed at fulfilling a long- standing demand of the city’s auto-rickshaw drivers. Transport Minister Satyendar Jain has directed PWD to undertake a feasibility study on setting up new halt-and-go auto stands on its 1,260 km roads. Only 300 auto stands have been set up to pick up commuter against around 90,000 auto rickshaws plying in the city.