RTA to issue 3,000 permits to CNG, electric autorickshaws in Kochi

Decision taken due to shortage of autos vis-a-vis passenger demand
Image used for representation
Image used for representation

KOCHI: In a move that will increase the number of autorickshaws in Kochi city, the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) is all set to issue 3,000 fresh city permits to CNG and electric autos, after a gap of 10 years.

“The proposal is to issue 2,000 permits to autorickshaws plying on CNG, LNG and LPG, while 1,000 permits will be provided to electric autos. It will come up for approval in the next RTA meeting,” said a senior MVD official.

The last time the city auto permits were issued was in 2013, when 4,000 new autorickshaws were permitted to ply within the corporation limits. However, though a proposal to issue new permits came up twice in 2017 and 2020, the same didn’t materialise due to various reasons.

“We decided to issue new permits as there is a shortage of city permit autorickshaws vis-a-vis passenger demand. Many of the autorickshaws that got extended permits back then are now not in operation,” the official added.

There is a demand from several quarters to increase the number of city permits to 10,000 as in the case of the Thiruvananthapuram city corporation.

Permit shortage: Railways cart licence system affected

As the number of autorickshaws with city permits is less, it has resulted in the railways receiving a far lesser number of applications for operating from the prepaid counter in the Ernakulam South Railway Station, posing inconvenience to commuters.

“There is an acute shortage of autorickshaws during peak hours due to various issues like shortage of city permits,” said Paul K J Manvettom, president, All Kerala Railway Users Association.

“Earlier, over 200 autorickshaws were plying from the prepaid counter here. Then came the High Court verdict that only those autos with city permits need to be given cart licence. The process for the current year is on and only 40 persons have applied this time,” said an official of the area manager’s office, Ernakulam.

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