The state government’s plan to replace the city’s autorickshaws with a small compact four-wheeler is having teething troubles.
The state transport department has identified problems which need to be addressed before phasing out autorickshaws in the city.
The department is not sure if the four-wheelers will be any safer than autorickshaws. It is also speculating if there will be a need to make changes in the permit from an autorickshaw to a taxi to go ahead with this proposed plan.
“We cannot simply replace the autorickshaws without ensuring that the four-wheelers are safe,” said SK Sharma, state transport secretary.
In the last six months, officials from the state transport department and regional transport offices (RTOs) have met to discuss the possibility of completely phasing out autorickshaws. The department had also planned to meet Italian and German car manufacturers reputed for building small and sturdy cars.
The Hindustan Times had first reported on the government’s plan to replace autorickshaws with compact cars in November.
“A compact vehicle would serve the purpose of an autorickshaw. The government should look at the Reva (an electric car) whose width is same as that of a rickshaw,” said Ashok Datar, transport expert.
Officials feel converting the permits or making amendments to them if autorickshaws are phased out would require thorough discussion.
“There is no provision for converting permits of autorickshaws to taxis. Detailed study is required before taking concrete action,” said a senior RTO official.