BANGALORE: The Transport Department is committed to taking two-stroke auto rickshaws off the road. To achieve this, it is offering a subsidy of Rs 15,000 to autorickshaw owners who have purchased their autos before March 31, 2000 and want shift to four-stroke autos.
"We have been offering this subsidy for some years now, we increased the amount from Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 to make it more appealing,” said T Sham Bhat, Transport Commissioner.
For auto rickshaw owners who have old two-stroke autos, changing to a four-stroke auto rickshaw would mean a minimum investment of Rs 1 lakh, while Rs 15,000 rupees may seem like an insignificant amount. But the Transport Department has another motive in providing the subsidy.
“Many times, the old autos need to be repaired before being sold. It is this expense that we are looking to address with Rs 15,000 subsidy,” said Hemantha Kumara L, Joint Commissioner, Transport.
There are two conditions for the subsidy. However, the new auto must be a four-stroke vehicle which runs on LPG and must be equipped with a digital meter.”It must also be painted green in colour according to the rules,” added Hemantha Kumara. The old auto will then be given a clearance certificate which will make it eligible to be sold outside the city.
Kumara also stated that initiatives like this were targeted at the tiny percentage of two-stroke autos which tend to use kerosene. “Ninety per cent of kerosene using autorickshaws have been taken off the road thanks to the arrival of LPG. This and other measures are intended to help us deal with the small numbers that remain,” he said.
However, the response seems to be low as sources said that only 500 auto drivers have made use of the subsidy so far. This may be due to a lack of knowledge about the scheme among the auto drivers or because of the fact that many want to keep their old vehicles and drive them in the city as well.