In a bid to get a solution on plying of totos, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was formed by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during the first administrative review meeting on Friday after coming to power for the second term.
It may be mentioned that the Calcutta High Court had formed a high power committee on May 6 to check the menace of the plying of illegal Totos, motorised vans and auto-rickshaws in different parts of the state and the committee was ordered to take necessary steps to check the menace and also to submit a report before the Court in this connection.
Banerjee said that the state government honours the Court’s order and is trying to find out a solution as it involves livelihood of 1.10 lakhs toto drivers and their family members. The GoM is comprised of the state transport minister Suvendu Adhikary, the state Urban Development minister Firhad Hakim, Mayor Sovan Chatterjee and Youth Affairs minister Aroop Biswas.
Soon after the administrative review meeting, all the four ministers along with the principal secretary of the transport department Alapan Bandyopadhyay and some other officials of the transport department held another meeting in Town Hall itself.
After the meeting that continued for around an hour, Adhikary said they have discussed so that they can find a way out of the problems that exists with the plying of totos.
A proposal has been prepared following the discussions among the group of ministers and the proposal will be sent to the Chief Secretary. He said that giving honour to the Court’s order, the state government is trying to find a solution after judging the situation on humanitarian ground.
It may be recalled that a team comprising experts from the Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) in Hyderabad had visited the state on May 17 and 18.
They had inspected the totos plying on different routes in Howrah and South 24-Parganas.
The experts had even driven some of the vehicles and had decided to work out on the possibility of converting the totos to e-rickshaws. They were also to send a report in this connection to the state transport department.
With the dilemma in their mind whether they will be allowed to ply the vehicles in future, the toto owners had been passing sleepless nights.
They are eagerly waiting for the final decision to come on this issue.