With no alternative, Gurgaon depends on shared diesel-run autos
Around 15,000 shared autorickshaws ply in the city. Apart from causing pollution, these diesel-run vehicles are often spotted parked illegally outside Metro stations and other areas. Most of them do not have the mandatory permits to ply in the city.
Speaking on the harmful effects to Gurgaon’s air caused by shared autos, a senior official from the Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said, “There have been a lot of complaints as regards to pollution caused by shared diesel-run autorickshaws. One of the reasons to it is that most of these vehicles are outdated, poorly maintained and use low quality fuel to cut cost.”
In a move to solve the menace, the official said, “The government has recently introduced 5,000 e-rikshaws in the city. Besides, work is going on in full pace to ensure speedy operation of city bus service.”
Besides causing pollution, autorickshaw owners have been accused of plying without obtaining the required permits from government agencies, illegal parking and rash/ drunk driving. Moreover, many drivers can be spotted ferrying more than the sanctioned number of passengers, which is eight, in their vehicles, thereby putting the safety of travellers at risk.
Recently, the Gurgaon traffic police had launched a crackdown on autodrivers plying without permits.
“Most drivers, operating diesel-run vehicles, act do not fear anyone – not even the police or the administration, to be specific. Sue to the shortage of effective public transport system in the city, they feel they can get away by flouting the laws. Not only are their complaints of rash driving against them, but there have also been an increase of cases of illegal parking, especially around the Mahavir chowk area,” said a senior traffic police official.
However, most of the drivers of shared autorickshaws asserted that they were been harassed by the authorities and were often forced to quit their business. Subash, an auto driver who plies on the Sikanderpur-bus stand route, said his business was getting affected due to continuous harassment by the police. As a result, he was thinking to quit this profession.