The UT Administration has been unable to stall the plying of unauthorized auto rickshaws from Mohali and Panchkula in the city. While attempts are being made to switch over completely to LPG autos in Chandigarh,there is no stopping the diesel autos from the adjoining towns from plying here even when these do not have the requisite permits.
There are around 5300 LPG autos in the city. Around 200 diesel autos are still allowed to ply after a case was filed in the High Court by the auto drivers. However,there are a large number of diesel autos with Punjab and Haryana numbers that can be seen plying in the city.
Malkit Singh,the president of the LPG Auto Drivers Union says,After an agreement with Mohali,permission was given to 500 LPG autos to ply between Chandigarh and Mohali. We have raised the issue that permission should be given to more autos. Diesel autos from the adjoining states ply in the city without permits. These are overloaded and do not run by the meter. Why is there no check?
The aim of switching over to LPG was to make an effort to reduce the pollution level in Chandigarh. However,with no adequate checks on the diesel autos plying here without permits,the purpose stands defeated.
The autos,apart from plying without permits,are overloaded. While three passengers are allowed in an auto,these ply with more than the requisite number. Most of the autos also do not ply by the meter. A member of the union says that there have been cases involving these autos including those of overturning and thefts where the passengers luggage has been stolen.
Secretary,State Transport Authority,Balbir Singh says that it is not possible to stop autos from entering the city.
Passengers traveling from Mohali or Panchkula would not like to change autos once they enter the limits of Chandigarh. We have mooted a proposal that tricity permit be given. A meeting has been held with the officials of Punjab and Haryana. Another problem in running LPG autos in the adjoining towns is the lack of LPG filling stations. The nearest one in Punjab is in Banur, he says.