Mumbai: 25 auto rickshaws scrapped for plying illegally on Day 10 of drive

Updated: Feb 13, 2019, 16:44 IST | Suraj Ojha and Faizan Khan

Serious about tackling menace, Mumbai traffic cops seize autorickshaws plying illegally and write to the RTO to issue scrap orders

Mumbai: 25 auto rickshaws scrapped for plying illegally on Day 10 of drive
'This is the sternest action we've decided to start with. In this way, all the illegal autos will be off the roads' S Veeresh Prabhu, additional commissioner of police (traffic)

Intensifying their drive against the autorickshaw mafia, the traffic police have initiated the process of scrapping autos that don't have valid documents with the help of RTOs. In the past four days, cops have seized 25 autos, and written to RTOs asking them to issue orders to scrap these vehicles. Additionally, since mid-day started its Meter Frown series, cops have fined more than 12,000 errant auto drivers.

Speaking to mid-day, S Veeresh Prabhu, additional commissioner of police (traffic) said, "This is the sternest action we've decided to start with. In this way, all the illegal autos will be off the roads. Once we are able to identify such vehicles, it will be easier for us to act against the autos plying with authentic papers."

In the past four days, traffic cops have seized 25 autorickshaws
In the past four days, traffic cops have seized 25 autorickshaws

He added, "The number of auto permits have almost tripled over the past few years. So, to handle such a huge number of vehicles instantly is not feasible. We have started the initiative and it will take some time for us to make the change visible on the road."

RTO officials confirmed that they have received the letter from the traffic department to scrap some autos. They will summon those auto drivers and check their papers. If the papers produced do not match the records available with RTO, those autos will be scrapped. "The lifetime of an auto in Mumbai is 16 years, those plying beyond that will also be sent for scrapping," said Shekhar Channe, RTO commissioner.

In the past four days, traffic cops have seized 25 autorickshaws

Sources in the traffic police said the reason there is no fear of law among errant auto or taxi drivers is because there is no provision for increased fines or suspension of licenses for repeat offenders.

Talking about what RTO does to curb such offenders, Channe said, "We totally rely on the traffic police due to the acute manpower crunch. We do surprise checks on and off and take action accordingly. Whenever we are alerted by the traffic police about repeated offenders, we take stern action as per the law."

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Meanwhile, the traffic police have also involved volunteers from the autorickshaw union who have promised to extend their support in handling the situation. Cops have already started sensitising the union staffers about the issue. They said that the volunteers are also helping them man auto stands and ensure that drivers follow rules.

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