In an effort to streamline the autorickshaw services in the city, the Kochi Corporation has decided to approach the state government to speed up the procedures for issuing permits for 3,500 more autorickshaws for the city. In a statement issued here, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany said that till the new permits are given, a relaxation on permits should be given to the existing autorickshaws plying in the city. The decision to streamline autorickshaw services in the city was taken following complaints that drivers were charging exorbitant fares.
The authorities earlier estimated that the city would require around 7,500 autorickshaws in a meeting held at the Mayor’s Chamber recently. “The meeting was attended by officials from the Motor Vehicle Department, traffic police, civic administrators and leaders of trade unions. In the meeting, a decision was taken to restrict the number of autorickshaws in the city to 7,500 and to cancel the permits of the remaining autos. We also informed the state government on the present situation,” said Chammany.
In its assessment, the authorities have identified that 4,000 permits were already issued in the city. “A total of 3,500 permits need to be issued which requires the nod of the state government. We have also requested the Transport Minister to take necessary steps for issuing the new permits,” said the Mayor.
Earlier, the Corporation also mooted a plan to limit the number of autorickshaw stands. The plan also includes identification of spots for the new stands, relocation of existing ones and to make sure that the stands are being set up without violating the norms of the Motor Vehicle Department. Accordingly, new stands will be allowed only on roads having a width of seven metres. The move to regularise auto rickshaw stands will also help the authorities have a proper control over the autos plying through the city roads. The initial list that identified the requirement of 200 auto stands in the city was later modified by incorporating the changes proposed by trade union leaders.