Besides issuance of these new permits, Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union even wants renewal of 20,000 dead permits and action against 30,000-odd autos operating illegally in the Eastern and Western suburbs
With road travel getting worse with each passing day due to the growing number of private vehicles in the city, the latest demand made by an auto rickshaw union could worsen the situation further.
The Mumbai Auto Rickshawmen’s Union has demanded issuance of one lakh new auto rickshaw permits for the city. “We want the state government to release at least one lakh new permits in Mumbai,” said Shashank Rao, the union’s leader.
Union members alleged that there has been a negligible increase in the number of autos across the city due to non-issuance of new permits and non-renewal of the expired ones. They claimed that about 20,000 dead permits could be renewed.
'Check illegal autos'
Besides demanding new permits, the union also raked up the issue of 30,000-odd illegal autos operating in the Eastern and Western suburbs.
Sources from the Transport department claimed these unauthorised autos generally ply short distances, mostly from railway stations to nearby residential colonies or business centres. The union even complained against operators of private jeeps, cars and buses, mostly hired by call centres, of poaching passengers from the Eastern and Western Express Highways.
These vehicles, union members said, charge anywhere between Rs 10 and Rs 20 , depending on distance and usually operate from Dahisar, Borivli, Goregaon, Andheri, Bandra, Powai, Vikhroli and other areas where offices are located.
“The government is not taking adequate action against these vehicles operating illegally,” Rao said. To drive their points home, the union has planned a morcha outside the Transport department’s office in Bandra on April 7.