In an attempt to deal with the menace overcharging and refusing to go to a particular direction by errant auto drivers, the Delhi traffic police will soon submit a proposal to install top lights on the three wheelers.
A lit top will mean the auto-rickshaw is free and the driver will be bound to ferry commuters to any part of the city, failing which he may face action. An auto-rickshaw driver will switch off the top lights when he is off duty.
“We will send the proposal to the transport department within a week, requesting it to issue an order for installation of top lights on autos. We hope this will streamline the system and be beneficial for both auto drivers and commuters,” said Anil Shukla, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
There are around 70,000 autos in the city and yet commuters are at the mercy of auto drivers who pick and choose their routes.
The traffic police have already had a few round of talks with transport officials concerned about the plan and hope the proposal will turn into reality soon.
Earlier in March, the police had proposed zone-wise colour coding to crack one of the most common problems faced by auto-rickshaw users in Delhi. But the plan is yet to be implemented. “Once we receive the proposal, we will evaluate the technicality of it and accordingly work out modalities. We will have to decide if this will be included in permit conditions or can be done only through issuing an order,” a senior transport department official said.
Meanwhile, initiating a drive on June 13 of issuing a hefty penalty of Rs 2,000 (minimum) for refusal by auto-rickshaw drivers in Delhi, the traffic police have already issued 648 notices to auto-rickshaw drivers. These challans were issued based on complaints received through SMS or phone calls.
Shukla said, during the ongoing drive, errant drivers were issued court challans ranging between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 for permit violations. “If they are caught for subsequent violations, the penalty may go up to anything between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000,” he added.