A team comprising experts from Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) will visit the state to give its recommendations following a survey to solve the menace of plying of illegal totos and motorised vans.
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 within the next 15 days and also to submit a report before the Court in this connection.
On Friday, Alapan Bandyopadhyay held a video conference with Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) from Nabanna and took a note on the present number of totos and motorised vans operating in the districts and the routes on which those are plying. It is learnt that around 1 lakh totos are plying in different parts of the state. Most of the vehicles are operating in the urban areas.
The state government is aiming to convert the vehicles to e-rickshaws considering that a ban on plying of totos will affect the livelihood of thousands of people in the state. Sources said that conversion of the totos to e-rickshaws will help legalise the plying of the vehicles. The state transport is writing to the Centre seeking their intervention and recommendations in this regard. In the meantime, the team of CIRT will be visiting the city. The tentative date of their visit is May 17 and 18.
The state Transport department has also formed a task force whose member will assist the CIRT team to carry out their study before giving their recommendations to solve the problem. It is learnt that the experts will be visiting different places where plying of totos is leading to traffic congestion and other problems. Besides speaking to the officials of the transport department, officials in the area and local police will also interact with some toto drivers.
It may be mentioned that owners and drivers of totos have moved to transport officials in their respective areas to get a clear picture of the present situation. They asked the officials whether they can continue earning their livelihood by plying the vehicles. The Transport department officials have asked them to keep patience as the work is on to solve the existing problem on the plying of totos.
Sources in the state Transport department said that the next meeting of the high power committee will be held on May 20.