Vehicles without permits and valid ownership documents will not receive meters, fare cards
Over 6,000 autorickshaws plying without permits and valid ownership documents may be forced to go off city roads soon.
In its bid to enforce the new tariff system, the State transport department has directed that autorickshaw owners themselves collect the new fare cards and recalibrated meters.
However, this has opened a can of worms as most autoriskshaws are not run by the original owners.
Many such vehicles are financed by private moneylenders. When the owner fails to pay the interest, the vehicle is seized by the moneylender who then hires another driver to run the vehicle.
“Many drivers said their autorickshaws had changed hands before coming to them. The vehicle documents, however, continued to be in the name of the original owners. Drivers will not get the rate cards and new meters unless the original owner comes in person to collect them,” said a transport department official.
For transfer of ownership too, the original and new owners have to go to the regional transport office and sign the transfer order. “This will avoid malpractices including forgery. Besides, autorickshaws without proper permits and documents can be easily weeded out,” said the official.
As of Friday, a total of 24,000 autorickshaw drivers had collected the new rate cards.
“We are very particular the vehicle owner himself should come to collect the rate cards and later the GPS meters,” said the official.
Share autos too under the scanner
The transport department will soon begin its crackdown on Ape autorickshaws that operate as share autos in the city, without proper meters.
The department has identified land in Sholinganallur and Tiruvallur for impounding the autorickshaws. According to the transport department, Ape autorickshaws ply in most parts of the city including the IT corridor of Rajiv Gandhi Salai, and T. Nagar.
The new tariffs and measures announced by the government are applicable to share autos too. “Most of these vehicles do not have meters yet. Transport department officials can cancel the fitness certificate of vehicles without meters,” said the official.
Though the Ape autorickshaws have seating capacities of three plus one, the norm is violated and the vehicles are often overloaded. “Most of the time, they are found carrying more than 10 passengers. This is very risky,” said another transport department official.
Commuters said they were aware of the danger involved in travelling in such vehicles. “From Kasturba Nagar MRTS station, I hop into a share autorickshaw to reach my office on Rajiv Gandhi Salai. During peak hours, the vehicle is overcrowded. One careless turn and the vehicle can turn turtle,” said Vinay Sundaram, a resident of Mandaveli.
The transport department has decided to crack down on such vehicles once the drive to enforce the revised tariffs on normal autorickshaws is completed.