Autos may get 'not for hire' beacons

City's transport dept mulls new proposal

Autos may get 'not for hire' beacons

The state transport department is contemplating enforcing a new rule which will give autorickshaw drivers a right to turn passengers away. If implemented, the autorickshaws will have two beacons, one to signal whether the auto is for hire while the other implies ‘not for hire’.

“We are considering the proposal,” said Raj Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Transport Department.

Earlier the department was considering a colour coding scheme, based on the zone they ply in. 

After sunset, an auto of particular zone couldn’t say ‘no’ to a passenger asking to travel in the area, as per the proposal. The scheme, however, has been scrapped, say sources. 

All autorickshaws will tentatively have red and green beacons, red symbolising ‘not for hire’, green signalling ‘for hire’.

“Auto drivers are getting challaned, permits are also getting cancelled,” said Karan Singh, a campaign manager of the Aam Aadmi Party, who on Thursday represented a delegation of autorickshaw drivers in the city. 

“We met senior officials in the transport department,” he said.

The transport department will review the cases of permit cancellation and has been asked to submit applications, informed Singh. 

Singh will hold meeting with various representatives of auto drivers.

Singh alleges that autodrivers are being harassed because they supported the party in Assembly elections. Close to 6,500 permits were cancelled on the grounds such as for displaying the party posters, for refusing passengers, for not wearing uniforms and for anomaly in the address verification, he said.

“If an autowallah is riding to his home in east Delhi, then how is he expected to take passenger who wants to go to south Delhi?” quipped Sanjay Chawla, who represents the auto drivers’ association, stressing that there is a need to bring in more clarity.

He also contested the grounds of cancellation. “Most of the autodrivers live on rent, so the address written on the permit may not match with that of actual one,” he said.  

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