The state government will consider the possibilities of amending the existing rules to accommodate share autos in the transport network of the state. Announcing the decision here, Excise Minister K Babu said that the share auto system will be launched in major cities soon.
He was speaking after inaugurating the programme for providing the auto rickshaws to the drivers who are permanently residing under the Kochi corporation limit, at a subsidised rate.
“With the prices of diesel and petrol witnessing a steep hike, the Kochi Corporation should take initiative to distribute autorickshaws operating on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) from next year onwards”, Babu said. This year, under the project, 87 drivers will be given auto rickshaws. The drivers will have to pay `8,000 as consumer share while Kochi corporation will provide a financial aid of `40,000.
The remaining amount will be provided as loan by Syndicate Bank.The auto rickshaws were distributed at the function presided over by Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany. Kochi Corporation Development Standing committee chairman T J Vinodh explained the project details to the beneficiaries.
“Once the number of new permits to be issued are finalised and autorickshaw stands are regularised, these new autorickshaws will also be issued permits. The Corporation is in the process of assessing the number of permits to be issued in Kochi”, Chammany said.
The Kochi corporation had already decided to conduct a preliminary study for implementing share auto project in the City and Chammany said that the system will help in giving access to pocket roads and residential colonies, where there are no bus services.
At present, a majority of the buses ply through the conventional routes, which were identified nearly twenty years ago.
Welfare Standing Committee chairperson Essy Joseph, Tax Appeal Standing Committee chairperson Ratnamma Raju and other councilors were also present.