Autorickshaw driver' union oppose Karnataka govt's decision to grant one lakh auto permits

The state government has recently decided to grant one lakh auto permits in the next five years.
Image of autorickshaws used for representational purpose
Image of autorickshaws used for representational purpose Photo | Biswanath Swain

BENGALURU: While the state government has issued a notification to grant one lakh auto permits (LPG/CNG/Electric) in the next five years, auto unions like the Autorickshaw Driver’s Union (ARDU) have opposed the move, alleging that it has been taken under pressure from auto rickshaw manufacturers to increase sales.

They said that with tough competition from the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), especially after the rollout of the free-travel Shakti scheme for women, the Metro, cab aggregators, car-pooling and bike taxis, existing auto drivers in the city are struggling to earn, and the permission to grant one lakh permits will directly affect their livelihood.

Speaking to TNIE, ARDU general secretary Rudra Murthy said, “Bengaluru is already known for its traffic congestion, with nearly one crore private vehicles. The city already has more than 2.5 lakh autos to cater to the citizens. Adding another one lakh autos will lead to chaos and increase traffic congestion.”

Before deciding on increasing permits, the government must consider multiple factors -- the city’s traffic, road carrying capacity, the demand for new autos by citizens and the number of applications received for the grant of permits -- Murthy stated, claiming that the state government has violated Section 74 (3)(a) of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, by notifying its decision to grant one lakh permits without considering the above factors.

Also, the decision to grant new permits, should not affect the livelihood of the existing auto drivers. However, the decision to grant one lakh permits will severely impact their earnings, he opined.

“Only if the permits are available, newly manufactured autos can be sold. The government has decided to issue one lakh permits, bowing to the auto manufacturers’ lobby, which is the case in cities like Chennai and Hyderabad,” Murthy said, adding that they will not let this happen in Bengaluru. He will be writing to Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and will also approach the court if need be.

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