PUNE: The city is all set to witness a revolution in auto rickshaw services with the implementation of the scientific management of auto rickshaws scheme initiated by the Union government’s Urban Mass Transport Company in association with the Regional Transport Authority (RTA).
The scheme aims at providing a safer and efficient last mile connectivity to passengers. Moreover, it also benefits the auto drivers with provision of facilities like uniform, insurance and accident policies, all free of cost.
In a special programme Union urban development ministry secretary R Ramachandran distributed bio-metric identity cards and insurance policies to the first few auto drivers who have registered for the scheme. It may be noted that though the registration process may have begun for the auto drivers, the service would be opened to the public over the next month.
So, consider this. Once the plan rolls out, an auto rickshaw arriving at your doorstep would just be a phone call or an SMS away. The journey would be made more comfortable with facilities like newspapers and water bottles on the way. What’s more, one would pay just by the meter and avoid all chances of over-charging.
Under this scientific management of auto rickshaws’, the movement of each auto will be monitored by a control room and there will be very little scope of overcharging by drivers. The driver will also be given a cell phone. A passenger’s call to the control room, will be directed to the auto closest to that address. This practice will reduce unnecessary plying of autos on roads, thus saving fuel and reducing traffic congestion.
“Effective implementation of this scheme will bring down the pressure on private transport in the city and make available efficient para-transit public transport,” said Ramchandran.
Niteen Kareer, divisional commissioner and president of RTA, said, “The scheme is being implemented in association with Delhi-based private firm Indevelop. Pune is the first city where it will be implemented. In the process, all illegal permits and flaws will be removed, as every auto will have separated a registration under the GPS and GIS systems.”
“All auto drivers enrolling for the scheme will get a uniform, insurance policy for the entire family and also an accident policy. There will also be regular health check-ups for the drivers. However, the scheme is being run on a voluntary basis,” he said.
“Over 2,000 auto drivers have already registered for the scheme, in the initial stage. A dedicated control room for the process will be opened soon,” said member RTA Baba Shinde.
Commissioner of police Satyapal Singh said that more than 30 per cent of the auto rickshaws in the city are illegal. Moreover, only 30 per cent of the drivers charge fares according to the metre. This scheme will help bring down such malpractices, as well as related criminal activities.