Autorickshaws went off the roads here on Monday and members of the Auto Drivers and Owners Welfare Association, Udhagamandalam chapter, led by their president K.Shanmugham, took out a procession.

It was to urge the government to streamline the system of issuing permits for new autorickshaws.

Congestion

At a demonstration staged opposite the Collectorate, they pointed out that the number of autorickshaws was already more than necessary and auto stands were congested.

In a memorandum submitted to the Nilgiris Collector Archana Patnaik, they said that though the town was small and the autorickshaws were allowed to ply only within a seven kilometer radius there were about 1,000 autorickshaws.

Lamenting that in keeping with a recent State wide order of the government the Regional Transport Office here also had started issuing fresh permits, they pointed out that already there was not sufficient space for the local vehicles and the vehicles of the floating population. There was also no place to park vehicles including autorickshaws.

They claimed that owing to the increasing number of package tours and competition from mini buses the demand for autorickshaws was going down particularly during the off-season period. They wanted the authorities concerned to reconsider the decision to issue more permits. If more permits were given the plight of the existing auto drivers would become pathetic, they added.

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