Of close to 1.45 lakh dead autorickshaw permits, barely 29,450 have been renewed following an order
The Maharashtra government is set to cancel 1.11 lakh dead auto-rickshaw permits used by people across the state to run rickshaws. The total number of dead auto-permits is close to 1.45 lakh, but in the last 45 days, a mere 29,450 have been renewed.
File pic for representation
Earlier this September, the Maharashtra government had announced renewals of dead auto-rickshaw permits starting November 1. Sources in the state transport department said that they had initially kept November 30 as the deadline but realised that there were few people who were interested.
From November 1 to 30, only 24,000 people came forward to renew their expired permits. Officials agreed that they were surprised with the lukewarm response and had to extend the deadline by a fortnight. Most of these auto permits belonged to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).
The state government had proposed to renew only those permits that belonged to holders who spoke Marathi and had lived in Maharashtra for 15 years. “These drivers might have landed alternate jobs and may be earning well, so haven't come forward,” said a senior official from the Transport department. One lakh fresh permits are planned for issuance in the MMR.
In these last 45 days, the Transport Department earned Rs 45 crore from renewals. Meanwhile, auto unions have been claiming that there are about 30,000 illegal rickshaws plying in the Eastern and Western suburbs although their permits have expired.