A city Corporation scheme to issue identity cards to autorickshaw drivers got a new lease of life on Friday after remaining dormant for months since its launch in January.
Mayor K. Chandrika and Deputy Mayor G. Happykumar addressed the drivers who had gathered at the Corporation office to collect the cards for which they had registered months ago.
“The next meeting of the Corporation council will discuss the enforcement of a rule which will make it mandatory for autorickshaw drivers to have an identity card to operate service in the city,” said Ms. Chandrika. She said that applications for the identity cards were being accepted.
The card, containing details about the driver, including his name, mobile phone number, address, police station, licence/badge number and identity card number, is meant to be hung behind the driver’s seat. “The ID number is all that a passenger needs to note,” said Biju Thomas, an official with Keltron, the agency entrusted with the responsibility of printing the cards.
Website on the anvil
If passengers have got any complaint against the driver or they have forgot something in the vehicle, they just have to contact the police with the driver’s ID number. Keltron is launching a website including all these details about the drivers. Police can record any complaint raised against any driver on this website, which will be launched in a couple of months. Public will also be able to access the information on the website.
Autorickshaw drivers in the city are also happy about the introduction of ID cards. A driver who has been riding autorickshaw in the city for 15 years said that three-wheelers which lacked city licences were also operating service in the city.
“It is a big problem. But there is nothing we can do as they have strong union backing, especially in busy locations such as the Central railway station,” he said, hoping that the introduction of ID cards would keep such vehicles at bay.
Keltron has readied over 9,500 cards and on the first day around 1,000 drivers collected their IDs. Drivers should submit an application form, along with a passport-sized photograph, driver’s licence and their badge number (which almost 40 per cent of the drivers in the city lacks, Mr. Thomas said). “Now, many have applied for licences because of the need to acquire the card,” he said.