Residents of the suburbs are against the autorickshaw union’s plan of entering the city limits. They want the union to first instruct its drivers to improve the services on the existing routes.
The Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Union on Monday started its signature campaign demanding permission to ply in the island city. Men were seen standing at Churchgate and CST station to get signatures and distributing pamphlets.
However, resident associations in the western and eastern suburbs said that for Mumbai to become a world-class city, the government would need to phase out autorickshaws over a period of time.
“Auto drivers are known to drive their vehicles dangerously. They shouldn’t be allowed to enter the city limits and instead the government should slowly phase them out,” said Sanjay Hegde, chairman of Gulmohar Residents Association at Juhu.
Rajkumar Sharma, a resident of Chembur and member of AGNI, said, “These drivers should first improve services in the suburbs and stop talking to passenger rudely.”
There are about 1.04 lakh autorickshaws plying on the Bandra-Dahisar stretch in the western suburbs and Sion-Mulund route in the eastern suburbs. AV Shenoy of Mumbai Vikas Samithi said roads in the city weren’t wide enough to take additional load and that traffic situations should be kept in mind.
The auto union claimed that it was getting a good response to its demand. “When we are allowed to go anywhere in the metropolitan region, why is the government stopping us from entering the city limits? The response to our signature campaign was quite good on the first day,” said Shashank Rao, member, Mumbai Auto Rickshaw Union.