Autorickshaw drivers in the city have said that the pink auto project launched by the transport department in June this year has failed to evoke a positive response from them as the norms for the scheme are very strict.
The pink-colour autos will ferry only women passengers. The scheme was launched to ensure that the women of the city travel safe. Gurgaon already has such autos.
The transport department plans to issue 350 permits for the autos, but it has not yet received a single application so far.
According to the conditions laid down by the transport department, only women passengers can travel in the pink autos. Also, the autos are supposed to be equipped with global positioning system (GPS) and have meters. But most of the autos in Noida do not have GPS nor do they have any meters.
Autorickshaw unions say these restrictions have stopped them from applying for permit to drive pink autos.
“We learnt about pink autos through newspapers only. We have learnt that only women can drive pink autos and only women passengers can be ferried. Auto drivers are reluctant to apply for pink autos due to these reasons. Had the transport department taken auto drivers and their unions in confidence while preparing the plan, the response would have been wonderful,” said Om Prakash Gurjar, president of the Noida Auto Association, which claims to represent one lakh auto drivers in Noida.
Sumer Singh, an auto driver, said, “The motto of pink auto scheme ‘for women, by women’ is a unique initiative. But very few auto drivers have heard about it. This is because the transport department did not make efforts to publicise it.”
The transport department, meanwhile, has earmarked 18 stands in Noida and Greater Noida for pink autos. But all the initiatives seem to have failed to attract drivers.
Regional transport officer Mayank Jyoti, however, refuted claims that the department did not publicise its scheme. He said information about pink autos was published in all dailies and was put up on notice boards of transport offices also.
“The department will organise workshops or camps for auto drivers for more awareness as we have to tell them that there are not many restrictions for applying for pink auto permit,” said Jyoti.