Get ready for passenger vehicle crisis in Ranchi from today (Wednesday), as more than 15,000 fuel and battery operated autos will go off roads for an indefinite period in protest against various issues.
The auto owners were protesting route division for e-rickshaw operation, non-issuance of permits to fuel autos and exorbitant fine levied by traffic police.
In a bid to make the city free from vehicular pollution and traffic jam, Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and Ranchi traffic police are all set to roll out route wise e-rickshaw operation plan from March 1. Altogether 24 routes have been identified for operation of e-rickshaw. The violator of the route plan will be fined up to Rs 25,000, a RMC source said.
President of e-rickshaw chalak sangh, Birendra Kumar said, “The administration has decided routes for e-rickshaws but not for petrol and diesel autos”.
Besides, the route distribution was also faulty, Kumar said, adding, “I am a resident of Chutia but I have been allotted route of Arogora to Kathal More, which is seven kilometers far from my home. An e-rickshaw runs 60 kms on a full charge. This way, I have to lose benefit of 14 kilometers every day.”
Abhimanyu Kumar, organizing secretary of Jharkhand state diesel auto drivers association (JSDADA), said, “All fuel-run autos, including petrol will also go on indefinite strike from Wednesday against non-issuance of permits and harassment of traffic police.”
Autos are considered to be lifeline of the city, asthere are just 40 city buses in the capital. Passengers face a tough time whenever autos go on strike.
The Ranchi administration has been carrying drive against unauthorized and polluting diesel autos in the city. Last year, the Jharkhand high court had banned the issuance of new permits to diesel-run autos within the limits of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and directed authorities to seize polluting and unauthorized diesel autos.
The diesel auto association said that the administration’s move has created livelihood problems for more than 10,000 families. “Our families are forced to go hungry,” he said.