New cap set: Maximum four passengers can ride a shared auto from next week

Published on Aug 06, 2022 12:13 AM IST

Gurugram traffic police have imposed a cap on the number of passengers allowed in shared autorickshaws

Gurugram, India - Aug. 5, 2022: Hailing shared autorickshaws may soon become difficult in Gurugram as the Gurugram traffic police have put a cap on the maximum number of passengers that three-wheelers can ferry in the city. On Friday, the traffic police directed auto unions and autorickshaw drivers to remove the passenger seat located on the sides of the driver’s seat and the one right behind in Gurugram, India, on Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Pics for Kartik Story) (Hindustan Times)
Gurugram, India - Aug. 5, 2022: Hailing shared autorickshaws may soon become difficult in Gurugram as the Gurugram traffic police have put a cap on the maximum number of passengers that three-wheelers can ferry in the city. On Friday, the traffic police directed auto unions and autorickshaw drivers to remove the passenger seat located on the sides of the driver’s seat and the one right behind in Gurugram, India, on Friday, August 5, 2022. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/ Hindustan Times) (Pics for Kartik Story) (Hindustan Times)

Gurugram traffic police have imposed a cap on the number of passengers allowed in shared autorickshaws. Beginning August 12, a maximum of four passengers will be allowed to travel at one time in shared autos, officials informed.

Traffic police on Friday asked auto unions and drivers to remove additional passenger seats next to and behind the driver. Drivers have a week to comply with the order, failing which traffic police will act against them and even impound their vehicles.

Virender Singh Sangwan, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Gurugram, held a meeting with auto unions and shared autorickshaw drivers regarding the matter at the Traffic Tower in Sushant Lok 1 on Tuesday and subsequently issued the directions on Friday.

“Several incidents of people falling out of moving vehicles and injuring themselves were reported recently because passengers travel precariously in shared autos. We have asked auto unions and drivers to limit the total number of passengers to four and modify their vehicles accordingly to avoid fatalities,” he said.

He said that traffic police will start issuing challans to shared autorickshaw drivers after a week for carrying more than the seating capacity, carrying a person outside the body of a vehicle, and obstruction of control of the driver by a passenger, each of which will incur an initial fine of 500 and a subsequent fine of 1500. He added that regular autos will continue to have a maximum cap of three passengers.

Representatives of auto unions said that they have asked shared autorickshaw drivers across the city to comply with the order. “We support the decision as there have been several recent cases of overfilled shared autos meeting with accidents. Three passengers who were hanging on the side of one such vehicle died last month in Mewat,” said Yogesh Sharma, general secretary, Haryana auto chalak sanghatan.

However, Sharma said that the union will approach traffic police to increase the cap on the total number of passengers. “In comparison to e-autos, CNG, or petrol-based autos, shared autorickshaw can easily accommodate six passengers. We will request the traffic police to increase the cap on the total number of passengers,” Sharma said.

According to Regional Transport Authority (RTA) data (till April 1, 2022), there are around 33,600 autorickshaws running across the city. According to auto unions, 8,500 of these operate as shared autos on routes such as Golf Course Road, Shankar Chowk, Iffco Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk, Udyog Vihar, and Sohna Road. Depending on distance, rates for travelling in shared autos vary from 10 to 30.

Sewa Ram, an urban transport systems design expert and a faculty member at Delhi School of Planning and Architecture, said, “Ideally, autorickshaw network in Gurugram needs to be evolved, similar to Delhi, where shared autorickshaws are fewer in number as compared to CNG three-wheelers. The structural design of shared autorickshaws needs to be tested properly, and new safety guidelines need to be introduced accordingly.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Kartik Kumar is a correspondent with the Hindustan Times and has covered beats such as crime, transport, health and consumer courts. Kartik currently covers municipal corporation, Delhi Metro and Rapid Metro.

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