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January 25, 2014

WB Govt takes several measures to curb excesses by auto rickshaw drivers

WB Govt takes several measures to curb excesses by auto rickshaw drivers

The state government will begin a series of drives against auto rickshaw drivers to discipline them from 27 January. Senior officials of the transport department in collaboration with the city police will conduct the drive in all auto stands.

State transport minister Mr Madan Mitra took the decision after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her annoyance over the series of incidents of assaults and brutal attacks on passengers by auto rickshaw drivers in the past few days.

Mr Mitra, along with senior officials of the transport department, held a meeting with the senior police officers at Lalbazar. The officials will check registration numbers, fitness certificates and driving licenses of auto drivers during the raids. 

The transport department will also open a special control room at Lalbazar from 27 January. The control room number 1073 will function from 7.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Passengers can lodge their complaints here. 

A two-member committee comprising principal secretary Alapan Bandhopadhyay and additional commissioner of police, Mr Soumen Mitra, will find out ways and means to implement the order of the court by 27 January, Mr Mitra said.  “Auto rickshaws are supposed to ply as a contract carriage in the state like all other states in the country. But, the Left Front government had converted the vehicle to stage carriage from contract carriage. Now, we can`t change the system overnight,” Mr Mitra said. 

If any auto rickshaw driver misbehaves with passengers, the government will take stringent action against him, Mr Mitra said. The transport department will introduce uniforms for auto drivers soon to nab the errant drivers. The department will float a tender in this regard, Mr Mitra said. 

“I received series of complaints from passengers that drivers hiked the fares in various routes drastically.  Auto drivers from Park Circus to Ballygunge and Ultadanga to Salt Lake have been charging Rs 25 and Rs 40 respectively from each passenger,” Mr Mitra said.

Mr Mitra will visit various auto stands today, including Howrah station, Gariahat and Rash Behari Avenue and ask them to behave politely with passengers.