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Auto rickshaw unions fight RTO's permit lottery system in high court

Court case challenging lottery system to give auto permits worries permit holders who have already got theirs

The auto rickshaw drivers who got new auto permits through the lottery system have come across a new hurdle. Though the Pune Regional Transport (RTO) office doled out 887 permits as part of a statewide lottery on February 26, auto rickshaw unions have opposed the system in the High Court.


The lottery system in progress at the Pune RTO on February 26

“The RTO is issuing new permits when a case is still going on, and according to the decision of Bombay High Court in 2010 all the old permits must be renewed first,” said Bappu Bhave, city president of Auto Rickshaw Federation.

“How can the RTO issue new permits without taking care of the old ones? Also, drivers buying new autos are in a state of confusion. Their fear the permits sanctioned to them will be revoked if the court rules in favor of the auto unions,” added Bhave. Pune deputy regional transport officer said, “It’s the state’s policy decision, and we only followed orders in conducting the lottery. We have only issued permits against those that have been cancelled.”

Prashant Shinde, a new permit holder, said, “I have taken a loan of R 1 lakh to buy an auto and if due to this ongoing case, my permit gets revoked, it will be a threat to my income.”

45,000
Number of permits issued to auto drivers by the Pune RTO as per their records

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