VIJAYAWADA: Hundreds of autorickshaws with rural permits have made their way into the city, robbing the local authowallahs of their livelihood. Around 600 autorickshaws with rural permits are illegally operating in the city limits.
With this, auto drivers in the city are demanding that the officials concerned take steps to see that the rural autos do not enter the city. With an intention of preventing rural autorickshaws from entering the city, two zones were formed in 2005. The city autos are allowed on the outskirts like Kanuru, Nidamanuru, Gannavaram, Ramavarappadu and Benz Circle in and around the city. There are about 8,600 autorickshaws that have the permission to ply in the city.
City Auto Workers’ Union president Muzaffar Ahmed said that about 8,600 were given permits by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to ply within the city limits. But, hundreds of (Teja) autorickshaws with rural permit and the seven-seater (Tata Magic) vehicles are plying freely on the city roads.
“Traffic jams in some areas are not caused only because of the rising number of vehicles in the city, but also due to the parking of rural autorickshaws at various junctions,” he said and asked the RTA to pass striengent rules restricting their entry into the city.
When Express contacted him, deputy transport commissioner Ch Sivalingaiah said that in the past five years, the autorickshaws with permits to ply only on rural areas were slapped with hefty fines if they were found operating in the city. Many vehicles were seized.
“With complaints pouring in against the rural autorickshaws, we have started taking stringent action against them so the flow of these vehicles into the city has reduced recently.” he added. However, owners of rural auto-rickshaws say that they can earn some money on the city roads.
“Maintenance of autorickshaws in rural areas is difficult. We earn only during the peak hours of the ng before 11 am and after 4 pm. I shall try to operate my auto within the city till the time I can for my survival,” said N Nageswara Rao, an auto-rickshaw driver from Nidamanuru.