Misuse of auto permits rampant

Misuse of auto permits rampant

The Department has long debated making auto permits, non-transferable.The document is being misused for several years now, according to sources in the Department.

Currently, three different persons are in charge of an autorickshaw -  a permit holder, the registered auto owner and the driver with a driving licence. The situation provides an easy scope for auto unions to exploit.

Officials in the State Transport Department point to a nexus in the use, transfer and sale of auto permits for a huge sum. The vehicle is registered in the owner’s name, the permit is issued to another person, yet another person drives it. A sure racket! The arrangement between the auto permit holder and unions have also resulted in drivers having to pay a part of daily earnings to everybody involved in the trade as unions promise jobs for a daily share in income from the vehicle.

End result? The public are forced to shell out exorbitant fares at the whims and fancies of the auto driver. It may be recalled that the Department had issued a notification in 2008 to amend rules and make a permit holder solely authorised to own and drive the vehicle. But the notification had to be withdrawn, allegedly due to lobbying from auto unions.

There have been a number of instances where the permit is sold and transferred number of times. Middlemen also take advantage of lack of adequate enforcement by Police and Transport department authorities, department sources pointed out.