Illegal autos still ply on roads

Illegal autos still ply on roads

Illegal autos still ply on roads

Lack of space to park seized vehicles hinders enforcement of the four-stroke engine rule.

Autorickshaws emitting smoke has become a common sight on the City’s roads even as the State government has made it mandatory for new autorickshaws to run on LPG and have a four-stroke engine to bring down emission levels.

In fact, as per orders issued by the government about a year-and-a-half ago, all the two-stroke engine autos in the City are to be phased out due to their high emission rates.

As per estimates, there are about 1.1 lakh autorickshaws plying in the City, out of which, about 20,000-22,000 are illegally operating without valid documents and are running on mixed fuel such as diesel, kerosene or two-stroke engines, causing maximum pollution.
This apart, the lack of space for storing the seized autorickshaws is one of the main reasons why discontinuation of these illegally plying autos has not been feasible.

Fitness certificate

Officials say that even if they find missing documents during periodic inspections under various RTOs, they have to let them off after a penalty due to space constraint.

While the norms laid down by the RTOs clearly say that the autorickshaws have to take a fitness certificate once in a year from the respective RTO, which includes a pollution test, sources say that the illegally plying autos skip it conveniently, or even better do not follow the regime due to weak enforcement.

That’s not all, even the recently launched “Bangalore City Saptavarna Suraksha Sugama Sanchara” scheme, a joint effort by the traffic police and the transport department, is aimed at identifying autos plying illegally by providing an alphanumeric code and special coloured plate to autos with valid documents and permit.

The colours indicate the sub-division to which each auto belongs and in each sub-division, a counter has been opened where drivers can submit their documents such as permits, fitness certificate, insurance and driver’s licence.

These are then verified and a sticker is issued. This alphanumeric sticker will serve an indicater to the police to not stop these autos for verification. Also, for commuters, this will enable them to identify autos running legally.

Officials in the transport department say that another problem which causes emissions is the lack of proper maintenance of auto rickshaws which also leads to air pollution.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox