Drive to regulate autos: 972 three-wheelers impounded, 3K auto drivers challaned in one month
The traffic police had started a drive to regulate auto rickshaws in the city on January 27, a month on, cops have impounded 972 three-wheelers.
As per the data procured from the challaning branch of the traffic police, cops issued 3,259 challans to auto-rickshaw drivers however, the details of their offences was not available.
Of the autos impounded, 480 had a Punjab registration number, 192 had a Haryana registration number, while 299 autos did not have valid permits. One auto was impounded from another state.
Records indicate that most challans were issued in the first two weeks of the drive. As many as 825 autos were impounded till February 10, of which 618 autos were impounded in the first five days of the drive. Only 147 autos were impounded in the next two weeks
A senior traffic police official said there was a dip in challans issued towards the end of the month as autos from neighbouring cities (Panchkula and Mohali) had stopped entering the city.
The impounding spree, however, has manifested another difficulty, as traffic cops have run out of space to park the defaulting three-wheelers. Both Children’s Traffic Park, Sector 23, and Traffic Lines, Sector 29, are full. As per deputy superintendent of police (DSP, traffic administration) Kewal Krishan the drive was initiated on the basis of feedback received from citizens. “The number of autos running without permits has significantly come down. The drive will continue and traffic police will keep on organising awareness programmes for auto drivers.”
Auto drivers, on the other hand, said, nothing decisive had been done to fix their problems.
Hind Auto Rickshaw Worker Union president Anil Kumar said, “UT adviser Manoj Parida had assured us that 1,000 autos from Punjab will be given permits yet nothing has been done. Autos from Haryana are not allowed to enter the city and traffic police personnel are often abrasive in their behaviour. Even autos with a Chandigarh registration number are being stopped frequently for checking, which did not happen before.”
Prices of autos are also high because fewer autos are running on the roads. City-based IT professional Payal Pratap saus, “Auto fares have almost doubled in the past month. Three-wheelers do not stop on major roads anymore, and charge at least ₹30 per trip now. Earlier. they would only charge ₹10.”