About 150 of the 272 autorickshaw stands in the city are unauthorised and the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation will take steps to regularise them after joint inspections by officials of the civic body and the government departments concerned, said V.P. Thandapani, Corporation Commissioner, here on Saturday.
The unauthorised stands would be regularised if they did not pose a hindrance to road traffic or the public and subject to the approval of the district administration, Mr. Thandapani said speaking at a meeting with the autorickshaw drivers and drivers unions to take forward its decision to streamline and regulate autorickshaw stands in the city.
The move comes in the wake of a recent directive of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to the corporation to consider a representation from A. Thirupathy, district president of the Tiruchi District DMDK Thozhilalargal Sangam, seeking a direction to the civic body to allow its members to operate from the autorickshaw stands in the city.
The corporation in 1999 had approved and notified over 90 autorickshaw stands in the city, but several unapproved autorickshaw stands had come up in the city over the years.
Mr. Thirupathy, in his petition before the court, said some trade unions had occupied the parking areas (autorickshaw stands) and did not allow any new entrant. The High Court in its order had directed the corporation to consider and pass appropriate orders on the representation of Mr. Thirupathy within four weeks.
At Saturday’s meeting, the corporation distributed applications among drivers and unions to register themselves to operate from specific autorickshaw stands. Those seeking approvals for new autorickshaw stands were asked to apply separately.
Mr. Thandapani appealed to the autorickshaw drivers to organise themselves as groups and work in unison to serve the people better.
Meanwhile, S. Pushpavanam, Secretary, Consumer Protection Council, Tamil Nadu, in a representation to the Commissioner, opposed granting approvals for autorickshaw stands indiscriminately as autorickhsaws were supposed to be on the run. The High Court has only asked the corporation to consider the request of the petitioner.
“If autorickshaws go by metre, there can be no stand. If there should be stands, it has to be without causing inconvenience to the pedestrians and the public. Thillai Nagar is a bad example where there is an unauthorised stand at every cross road, obstructing vehicles entering the lanes,” Mr. Pushpavanam said.
Auto stands could be permitted in roads of 50 feet in width such as the Fort station Road and 10 Cross Thillai Nagar. There could be only about 50 stands in the city, he said and said the corporation charge a parking fee for the autos using the stands. This would help prevent collection of money by certain groups for allowing new autos to operate from a particular stand. The practice of auto stands being named after specific political parties and unions should be stopped, he said.