BHUBANESWAR: All Odisha Auto Chalak Mahasangh (AOACM) on Saturday demanded formation of a welfare board for workers engaged in public and private transport and automobile sector in the State.
At a meeting here on Saturday, AOACM president Subas Singh said, “auto-rickshaw drivers and employees engaged in public transport should be covered under different social welfare benefits like accidental death, health insurance, assistance for housing and children’s education and pension in line with the initiatives taken for construction workers in the State.”
As many as one lakh auto-rickshaw drivers render service to more than eight lakh passengers in the State daily. In the Capital alone, there are around 20,000 drivers. Staff of bus, truck, tractor, mini-transport carriage, taxi and private vehicles should also be covered under the proposed welfare board, he said. Singh suggested that Transport Department should contribute one per cent of its annual revenue, which is around `1,500 crore, to the board. Besides, the Government should charge one per cent as cess from owners of heavy transport vehicles during registration, he said.
Members of the association also demanded that a technical committee should also be formed for fixing and regulating auto-rickshaw fare. Members from Puri demanded that the district administration should identify separate parking lots for auto-rickshaws at the earliest.