The `great expectation’ hinges on the state government’s initiative to issue new autorickshaw permits for Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.The city at present has about 45,000 three-wheelers.
Commuters experience harassment day in and day out despite the sizable number. Refusal has been rampant across the city.
Citizens hope the addition of new vehicles will lead to competition among autorickshaw drivers, compelling them to offer better services.
Vijay Rane, a resident of Aundh, said it was high time for the autorickshaw drivers to improve their behaviour.“There is a tough competition from tourist taxis and aggregators. To survive in this situation, improvement in services is a must. Otherwise, the autorickshaw drivers will lose out on business,“ Rane said.
The latest report with the regional transport office (RTO) of Pune revealed that about 50 complaints of refusal were received every month.The number could be more because every commuter refused a ride does not register a complaint. It also stated that about 15 complaints of over charging were registered every month besides rude behavior and faulty meters.
Officials in RTO claimed that over 30% autorickshaw drivers in the city were caught flouting motor vehicle act provisions during the checks conducted in the last eight months. Despite harsh action, several autorickshaw drivers ply without fitness and pollution under control permits.Plying of vehicles without payment of taxes is also rampant.
An RTO official said, “We will have to intensify our checking to restrict rule violation and cases of harassment after more vehicles hit the streets. Errant drivers will fa ce strong action.“
RTO sources claimed that he government had set a deadline of January 7 to submit applications for new autorickshaw permits. So far, more than 6,000 applications have been received.
The permits would be issued online for the first time.Even the lottery to allot per mits will be held online, an official said.
Apart from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad, applications for autorickshaw permits have been invited in Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Solapur regions. The government plans to issue 35,000 permits in Mumbai, 387 in Aurangabad and 141in Nashik.
Source : TOI