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City to have over 160 auto stands

In a much-needed step to maintain a proper control over the autorickshaws, the Corporation will join hands with various departments to set up 165 autorickshaw stands in the city.

A meeting will be convened by the Corporation authorities on July 16 which will be attended by officials of the City Police, Motor Vehicles Department, Public Works Department and Trade Union leaders. The meeting will discuss the details, including identifying the spots for the stands and relocation of some of the existing stands.
The decision in this regard was taken by Mayor Tony Chammany the other day following the recommendations by Traffic Police and Motor Vehicles Department in a study report on the autorickshaws in the city.

The study was conducted against the backdrop of increasing number of complaints raised by the public against autodrivers.

The report also pointed out that the civic administrators and transport authorities did not have any control over the autos. The proposal to set up new autorickshaw stand and assessing the total number of rickshaws running in the city are expected to give a direct control over the vehicles.

Though the recommendation was made for setting up 165 stands, the total number of stands will be finalised only after the meeting scheduled for July 16, after analysing the feasibility of the idea.

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Pre-Paid counters

Meanwhile, the leaders of the trade unions welcomed the decision and said the authorities could even think of setting up pre-paid  counters attached to every autorickshaw stand.

“The problems related to autorickshaws arise mainly owing to the lack of proper control mechanisms. We cannot blame the drivers alone for the increasing number of complaints. Some of the autos running in the city come here from outside Kochi. Even if they create any problem, the authorised drivers here will have to bear the brunt,” said the CITU-affiliated Ernakulam District Autorickshaw Drivers Association president Sojan Antony.

He said that a proper mechanism to monitor the autorickshaws should be introduced.
“The authorities can even think of issuing permit to those drivers who are members of an authorised trade union. They should decide the limit for conducting services. Along with that, they should also think of setting up pre-paid counters at all stands,” he said.