Autorickshaws in Capital just a call away

Dial a ride

Finding an autorickshaw willing to go by the meter in the City is a Herculean task. But this could change soon with an ‘auto on call’ service, similar to radio taxis, available at the doorstep.

The East Delhi Municipal Corporation has tied up with Nirmal Foundation, the organisation which provides the Any Time Rickshaw (ATR) service in many cities in Gujarat. Corporation officials said the initiative will also generate revenue for the civic agency.

“The Foundation will establish a call centre for running a fleet of autos. Since all autos associated with the service will ply as per meter reading, it will provide a fair service,” said EDMC commissioner S S Yadav.

All autorickshaws will be GPS-enabled and monitored all the time, he said. Moreover, police verification of all drivers inducted into the service will be carried out.  A toll-free number for availing the round-the-clock service will be provided once it becomes operational, the commissioner said.

Officials added that the entire infrastructure will be set up by the organisation. The civic agency’s role will be restricted to providing space for establishing the call centre and training the drivers.

“A community hall in Nand Nagri, which is lying unused, will be rented out to the Foundation for establishing their call centre,” Yadav said.

“It will, in fact, generate a regular revenue for us as rent would be charged according to corporation rules. Initially, the community hall will be allotted for three years.

“The Foundation will also share a part of the revenue generated through advertisements on autos. However, we will provide them a rebate of 50 per cent in advertisement tax,” he added.

It will be the organisation’s job to mobilise auto drivers into joining the service.

“Around 10,000 drivers are associated with the Foundation in other cities as it provides several benefits to them, including accident insurance, health cover, training and additional revenue from advertising,” an official said. Corporation officials said they would facilitate the necessary clearances for the organisation from the transport department and Delhi Traffic Police.

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