There are about 30,000 auto-rickshaws that illegally ply on city roads, claim auto unions.
Shashank Rao, assistant general secretary of Mumbai Autorickshawmen’s Union, the city’s biggest auto union, claims that if the state transport department gets these autos off the roads, a lot of commuter problems would be solved.
Just two weeks ago, Rao said he had written to the heads of the traffic police and the RTO.
The illegal autos are those that run without a valid permit. “These illegal auto drivers tell the authorities that they are using the vehicle for personal use or using it outside the city, but most of the time they are running them within the city,” Rao alleged. “The authorities are hand-in-glove with these culprits as no action has been taken against them despite our constant appeals to the traffic police and the RTO.”
These illegal drivers don’t have badges, don’t wear uniforms, their autos are not maintained, Rao claimed. “These drivers are the ones fleecing customers by over-charging them through tampered meters. We have received several complaints about such errant drivers.”
SV Thakur, additional commissioner, transport department, denied that such autos without permits run on the city’s streets. “I don’t think that it is true,” he said.