VISAKHAPATNAM : The district administration has finally decided to impose a ban on the entry of auto-rickshaws, especially seven-seaters, from rural areas in order to curb the increasing traffic menace in the city.
The Road Safety Committee has observed that seven-seat autos from various rural pockets are causing traffic snarls in the city. In order to control the same, auto-rickshaws coming from villages will hitherto be stopped on the city outskirts itself.
Collector Yuvaraj has directed the officials of Traffic Police and RTA to ensure that people take buses instead of autos on the outskirts to reach their destinations in the city. He also told them to make installation of GPRS tracking and meters in all auto-rickshaws mandatory to monitor the vehicles and prevent drivers from fleecing passengers.
Besides traffic congestion, the Road Safety Committee also realised that a number of accidents in Vizag are caused by errant auto drivers. While there are 32,000 auto-rickshaws in the city, most of the seven seaters are coming from about 10 rural mandals. In view of the abnormal increase in the number, the police department has imposed a ban on plying of seven-seater autos in the city. Since the Visakhapatnam Police Commissionerate does not have the powers to stop seven-seaters from entering the city, it had asked the road transport officials to not allow auto registrations in the city.
A large number of rural unemployed youth are choosing to run autos now that thousands of people, particularly students and employees from rural pockets, visit the Bay City daily. As the RTO office in Vizag is not allowing registrations, they are registering their auto-rickshaws in rural areas.
However, with the new orders in force, the traffic situation is expected to become better gradually.