Although the transport department promised to open 47 share-a-rickshaw stands in the city by September 30, it has only set up 36 so far.
Officials from the department attributed the delay to the tense situation due to the Babri Masjid land verdict that was delivered on September 30.
Till now, the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) of the western and eastern suburbs have started 36 share-a-rickshaw stands.
Twenty-three stands were inaugurated in the eastern suburbs, in areas such as Mulund, Chembur, Kurla, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli, on September 29. Eleven routes were started on September 28 in the on the western suburbs, while two were inaugurated earlier on September 16 at Bandra (East). “We will be starting six new routes in the coming week,” said A Balchandra, RTO (West) at Andheri, adding that 78 other routes have been proposed.
According to sources in the regional transport office, the main reason for the delay is that there aren’t enough stands available to fix at designated areas. “All these stands are being sponsored. So, until a company provides more stands, there is no point simply starting a route,” said an RTO official.
The problem is compounded by the lack of coordination between the transport department and the auto union. Several autorickshaw drivers had opposed the idea of share-a-rickshaw at Bandra (East) a day after it was inaugurated. Now, the RTOs are surveying the 100 illegal share-a-rickshaw stands across the city. “We are surveying the illegal routes, and will soon start stands there after getting necessary approvals,” said V Pandkar, RTO (East) at Wadala.