KARNATAKA

Will the RTA issue new permits for autorickshaws? Public eye

What lies ahead? The Regional Transport Authority will take a decision on issuing new permits taking Mysore city’s transport requirements into consideration.

What lies ahead? The Regional Transport Authority will take a decision on issuing new permits taking Mysore city’s transport requirements into consideration.  

Shankar Bennur

About 3,000 applications are pending; decision on December 31



Federation of Mysore City Autorickshaw Unions is against issuing of new permits

Government urged to extend deadline set for fixing LPG kits in autorickshaws by a year



MYSORE: The number of aspirants for autorickshaw permits in Mysore city is increasing. About 3,000 applications are before the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) which has kept its decision pending till December 30.

A section of auto drivers are against the issuing of new permits on the ground that the number of autorickshaws is already high. The RTA has not issued new permits in the recent past.

According to sources in the Transport Department, pressure is mounting on the department to issue new permits. At present, about 17,000 autorickshaws are operating in the city.

Why there is so much demand for autorickshaw permits? Does the city require more autorickshaws? If new permits are issued, will it enable easier and comfortable travel of people who cannot afford to hire taxis?

As the city is growing at a fast pace and witnessing emergence of new residential layouts owing to rise in population, there is a demand to liberally grant autorickshaw permits.

The authorities had not issued fresh permits to overcome traffic congestion and also in the interests of existing autorickshaw owners and drivers. .

If permits are issued, it would help unemployed youth to earn a living. At the same time, the drivers and owners here are worried that the move may cut down their returns owing to competition.

Sources said that most auto owners secure permits and rent out vehicles to unemployed youth earning maximum profits. “Thus, the objective of issuing permits to overcome unemployment will not be fully met. Therefore, there is an argument that if permits are issued to those who actually operate the vehicle, it will support many families. On many occasions, the drivers resort to unfair means if the earnings are poor since they have to share them with the owners,” they said.

The Federation of Mysore City Autorickshaw Unions has urged the RTA chairman not to issue new permits since the number of autorickshaws in Mysore city is already high.

Speaking to The Hindu, RTO Siddappa Kallera said the RTA chairman heard all the applications pending before the authority. “Only applications seeking permits for autorickshaws were discussed at the meeting,” he added.

The sources said permits may not be issued to all the aspirants and the decision on it would be taken considering the city’s transport requirements.

Moreover, a policy decision had been taken to issue permits only for autorickshaws running on Liquefied Petroleum Gas to minimise air pollution.

The federation has urged the Government to extend the deadline set for fixing LPG kits in autorickshaws by a year since they were unable to do it now owing to poor financial condition. The deadline is December 31, 2008.

In a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, the federation said that LPG kits cost between Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 24,500.

As the debate over issuing autorickshaw permits continues, the RTO here maintained that the problem of overcrowded autorickshaws had come down with more schools in the city opting for their own vehicles to pick up and drop children. Though the Motor Vehicles Act stipulates that not more than three adults should travel in an autorickshaw, the authorities can permit up to six children. However, most autorickshaws here violate the rules and pack children in their vehicles as if no ceiling exists on the number of passengers.

Mr. Kallera said the parents of the children and the school authorities should cooperate with the department to bring an end to this problem.

Recommended for you