The transport department's first lottery system for autorickshaw permits on Wednesday, brought smiles on many faces but at the same time, annoyed some. After the draw, it was found that there were around 3,000 autorickshaw drivers' who will get a permit only if anyone whose name appeared in the lottery list fails to submit the required papers.
The irony is that the waiting list for autorickshaw permit is higher than the total number of permits offered by the transport department. The deputy regional transport office (RTO), Vashi, had offered 2,687 permits while the total number of correct applications were 5,685. After the computer randomly selected 2,687 persons' names for the permits, the remaining 2,998 people's applications were put in the waiting list. However, the RTO had received a total 7,655 applications, of which only 5,685 applications were found correct.
A wide screen was put up in Mathadi Bhawan in Vashi by deputy RTO where autorickshaw drivers waited till evening to know the status of their applications. "The transport department allotted 2,687 permits through a transparent lottery system," said Sanjay Dhaygude, deputy RTO Vashi. The lottery system, however, was boycotted by a few auto unions. The state transport department has issued the permits after 18 years. "On the last occasion, I did not get any permit. But this time I am fortunate as my name has appeared," said an ecstatic autorickshaw driver. Earlier, he was driving autorickshaw for someone else with many terms and conditions.
Now, the applicants whose names have been selected, can submit the required documents to get the permit to ply autorickshaws. "After scrutinising their papers, they will be given the permits. If we find any discrepancies in the papers, the waiting list persons will be given a chance," said an RTO official. The applicants can submit their papers from March 1 and all the important documents need to be submitted.
However, many drivers expressed unhappiness after the draw of the lottery. "I was very positive that I would get permit this time. But the government has changed the process which I do not understand," said a rickshaw driver.