Few takers for the project to colour code autorickshaws

The initiative to provide a unique alphanumeric colour code to autorickshaws under the ‘Bangalore City Saptavarna Suraksha Sugama Sanchara’ (BC4S) project has failed to take off due to lack of awareness and coordination between the police and drivers. Only about 300 of the estimated 1.5 lakh autorickshaws in the city have been registered after the project was inaugurated in the last week of January 2014.

Under the project, the code is given after verifying the original documents and permit of the vehicle. Traffic police say that this will not only create a database of autorickshaw owners, but also weed out vehicles without a valid permit.

M. Manjunath, president of the Auto Drivers’ Union Federation, said that the traffic police hadn’t consulted the unions before implementing the project. “We wanted every driver to be given a unique identification number. However, the focus now is on the owner of the vehicle,” he said.

The sale and re-sale of autos poses a major hurdle for the police while tracing the ownership history due to improper documentation. However, the procedure being followed in BC4S won’t help, says the union.

Manjunath said, “Document verification will not reveal anomalies. An on-ground verification is the only way out. Instead of drivers going to the police, the process should be decentralised. Jurisdictional police should approach autorickshaw stands to conduct a survey, verify documents and bring drivers under the project,” he says.

DCP (Traffic East) M.N. Babu Rajendra Prasad, who is in charge of the project, acknowledged that the project is yet to take off in a big way. “We are learning even as we implement the project and are correcting ourselves wherever necessary. Though the number of autorickshaws registered is small, the feedback is good,” he said. There are plans to create awareness among drivers and owners about the project through pamphlets, banners and also by reaching out to the target group through autorickshaw unions.

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