The deputy regional transport office (RTO) Panvel has taken action against 50 autorickshaws in the past one week, that were manufactured 16 years earlier or more. The drive was carried out in Panvel, Kharghar, Khanda colony, Mansarovar, among other areas in its jurisdiction.
The state government has banned autorickshaws that have been in use for 16 years or more, claiming it would ensure safety of commuters, ease traffic and keep pollution in check. The drive to crack down such rickshaws was carried over a period of eight days in several areas falling within the Panvel RTO jurisdiction. RTO squads have been taking action against such rickshaws.
“Rickshaws manufactured 16 years ago add more pollution to environment and it also creates problem while commuting,” said RTO official.
RTO officials say, rickshaw owners have been asked to switch to a new one to avoid similar actions. “Since plying such old autorickshaws is banned in the state, they have to change to the new one,” said a RTO official.
Around 8,000 autorickshaws ply in Navi Mumbai and passengers claim that in many areas, old autos are still functional. “In Seawoods, there are many autos that are not only old but do not have an electronic meter,” said Sadhna Patil, a resident of sector 42 in Seawoods. However, commuters are lauding RTO’s action, as they often face problems while commuting in old rickshaws. No only do they run slower in comparison to their new counterparts, they also cause more pollution. “Similar drives should be conducted more often to keep rickshaws manufactured 16 years ago away from roads,” said Arti Mhatre, a resident of Khanda Colony. Old vehicles are expected to be phased out in the next one year as the RTO will not renew its fitness certificates starting January 2014.