Regional Transport Authority to take decision on new permits for city autorickshaws on November 29

Over 2,600 autorickshaws are likely to hit the Kochi roads soon, benefitting commuters.

A meeting of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) to be held on November 29 will consider a proposal for issuing new city permits to autorickshaws. The meeting will also take up a suggestion for cancelling the permits of vehicles that have ceased to operate in the city.

The move comes as part of the drive to streamline the service of the three-wheelers in the city. The civic administrators had started the initiative following complaints of autorickshaw drivers misbehaving with passengers and fleecing them.

Trade unions’ demand

Trade union representatives of autorickshaw drivers too demanded the restructuring of the city service. They had also demanded that vehicles without city permits be barred from operating within the city limits. The validity of 4,000 permits issued 17 years ago was verified through eight adalats that were organised by the Regional Transport Office.

Cancellation of permits

The adalats revealed that 1,385 vehicles had valid documents and were still operating in the city. “The RTA meeting will consider the cancellation of invalid permits and issue new ones,” said B.J. Antony, Regional Transport Officer, Ernakulam.

The three-member RTA, headed by the District Collector, has the Superintendent of Police (Kochi Rural) and Deputy Transport Commissioner (Central zone) as its members.

The meeting will be held at the District Collectorate, Kakkanad, at 11 a.m. The sanctioning of new city permits could be completed within two months of the RTA clearing the proposal, Mr. Antony said.

Incidentally, civic authorities are of the view that an additional 3,000 permits need to be issued to cater to the needs of the city dwellers.

The authorities arrived at this figure after holding consultations with various stakeholders and assessments by corporation officials.

New permits

“The power to issue new permits is vested with the State government. Currently, the RTO can issue only 4,000 city permits, which was sanctioned earlier,” said Mr. Antony.

“The Kochi Corporation is planning to write to the State government seeking additional permits,” said Tony Chammany, Kochi Mayor.

The corporation had earlier identified around 120 autorickshaw stands in the city.

The vehicles would be permitted to operate only from the identified stands.

The civic body had also suggested guidelines to be followed for issuing new permits, he said.

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