Autorickshaw drivers in large numbers staged a protest at the district administration's office against the restriction on three-wheelers from entering railway station road and Lakkar Bazar on Friday. The protest was supported by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers.
The protesters blocked a portion of Ferozepur Road and raised slogans against the traffic as well as administration officials. Autorickshaws have been banned from entering railway station road which is one of the most lucrative routes.
Jitendar Moudgil, Punjab head, anti-corruption bureau, Aam Aadmi Party, along with other party members also visited the venue.
He said, "It is a sheer violation of the law. Authorities concerned are misusing their power to favour a few private players in the transport business. The congestion on the road is caused by private buses and vehicles, therefore banning only autodrivers is illogical and against the transport laws."
"Auto drivers' community is not financially sound as majority of them struggle to make both ends meet. The officials concerned are acting on the directions of a few influential private players in the market,"added Moudgil.
Om Parkash, head, District Auto Drivers Sangharsh Committee, said, "It is quite ironical that authorities in a bid to favour a few private bus companies in the state are tampering with the law and modifying it accordingly to suit their needs while our interests are being deliberately neglected. It is the private buses which cause major congestion on the railway station road but authorities have banned autos which is against the law."
He also slammed the traffic cops for their "failure"to crack whip on the autorickshaws from other districts who enter and exit at their will at any hour of the day.
Meanwhile the protest affected the traffic for over two hours on Ferozepur Road.
District transport officer (DTO) Anil Garg said, "I am not clear about the matter. It is the traffic authorities who majorly regulate such matters so they should be contacted."
Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Richa Agnihotri could not be contacted despite several attempts.