Chandigarh police go on verification drive, checks 2,000 autos
A day after 21-year-old woman was gangraped by auto driver and two others, Chandigarh Police woke up from its slumber and carried out verification drive of 2,000 autos and State Transport Authority impounded a dozen autos in different parts of the city.
Even in Mohali the police carried out verification drive of 1,500 autos.
The UT administration functionaries admit that about 700 autos are plying in the tricity without any proper registration.
Rajiv Tewari, additional secretary, STA, said “ In Chandigarh we have stopped registration of autos as we have around 5,000 autos registered in the city. To circumvent the registration process the auto owners are registering their autos in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana (Mohali and Panchkula).”
The oversight: No record of driver
In Chandigarh, the permit is issued to the owner of the auto rickshaw who further rents out the vehicle to a driver. The transport authorities do not have record of the drivers as the permits are issued directly to the owner. Moreover, there is no system to keep the record of the drivers employed by the auto owners.
STA Chandigarh rules though state that the name of the auto rickshaw owner, along with address have to be displayed on the auto. No auto can ply without a proper permit. Punjab and Haryana autos need to be countersigned from UT to ply in Chandigarh and diesel autos will not be allowed.
COORDINATION AN ISSUE AMONG STA, POLICE
This year 15,326 autos have been challaned and 1,250 autos were impounded for different violations such as plying without permit, overloading and diesel autos.
In Chandigarh, there are 5,000 autos registered with the UT State Transport Authority (STA). Another 3,500 autos registered with Mohali and around 500 with Panchkula also ply within the tricity area. The STA has been writing to Chandigarh Police to collaborate with them for challaning drives against autos, citing staff shortage as the reason. STA has been challaning autos for overcrowding and using diesel.
The authorities in Mohali and Panchkula have also failed to regulate the movement of the autos with hardly any drives to check their papers. The administration officials admit that there is a need for proper coordination between the transport department and the police to check the issues involving auto drivers.
How is an auto registered
For plying an auto, the owner has to get the vehicle registered with the State Transport Authority within one month of its purchase. The owner needs to get a five-year permit from STA by paying ₹500 fee. The auto is to be inspected annually for fitness.
Keeping in view the crime involving autos, STA is working out modalities to come up with the Global Positioning System to be introduced for the autos. The administration is in touch with the software companies to come up with a system to keep a track of the autos in the city. The proposal to issue badges to the drivers is also being considered.