10,000 autos to hit the roads soon

Delhi Government started the process of issuing 10,000 new auto-rickshaw permits on Monday, almost nine months after the Supreme Court allowed plying of more such vehicles in the city.

People having license for driving auto-rickshaw will only be eligible for getting the permits.

“Initially we have decided to issue permits to those who have license to run auto so that only genuine persons get the permits,” Delhi’s transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said.

Currently, the city has a fleet of around 60,000 auto-rickshaws. The Supreme Court in November last year had paved the way for plying of one lakh new auto-rickshaws, giving its verdict on an application moved by Delhi Transport Authority in 2002 for lifting a freeze imposed by the apex court in its earlier direction of December 16, 1997.

Lovely said the government was also trying hard to ensure installation of global positioning system (GPS) devices on all auto-rickshaws in the city. “The new autos will mandatorily carry these devices,” he said.

In 1997, the apex court had directed that there shall be no fresh registration of auto-rickshaws as they were running on two or four stroke petrol engines contributing to the severe pollution in Delhi.

It had, however, permitted that existing autos be replaced by new ones.

Subsequently, the autos were converted into single-fuel CNG-propelled vehicles, but the restriction on the fresh registration resulted in malpractices by the auto-owners and drivers.

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