On a day that activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal lent support to auto drivers protesting a Delhi government order banning advertisements on auto-rickshaws and taxis,the Transport department reiterated its will to stop such advertisements.
According to government,advertisements were pasted over helpline and complaint numbers on autos,thereby,defeating the purpose of putting up the phone numbers.
We have found that many auto drivers have been putting advertisements over (the helpline numbers),defeating the entire exercise. So,the Transport department issued a notification,which clearly states that under the permit conditions of auto-rickshaws such placement of advertisements is not allowed,and those doing so would be dealt with firmly, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said.
On the other hand,at a demonstration against the directive on Monday,Kejriwal said the government with its order aims at doing away with Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) posters that are often seen on the back of autos.
Referring to Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarins order in which he held Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit responsible for misusing public funds for government publicity,Kejriwal said: If advertisements on auto-rickshaws are illegal,then why are huge hoardings of Sheila Dikshit all over Delhi not removed?
Kejriwal said AAP volunteers will put up party posters on at least 10,000 autos over the next 10 days. If you are fined for it,you can come to our party office and get the money, Kejriwal said.
Meanwhile,the Transport department said it will go ahead with its plans to ensure better service to auto commuters.
The department has decided to put coloured strips of six different types on autos to segregate them into different zones. This will help in regulating how they ply and also bring down cases where drivers refuse to ferry passengers, Goswami said.
He said during the day the colour-coded autos can ply anywhere in the city,but after dusk they will not refuse passengers commuting to their zones.
Goswami also said the department will take strict action on complaints of overcharging and misbehaviour against auto drivers. The Transport department has decided to use the services of the traffic police,Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System and police control room to evolve a mechanism through which harassed commuters would be able to report any incident through the emergency buttons provided in the auto-rickshaws, Goswami said.
In recent weeks,the Transport department cancelled 183 auto and 156 buses permit for violating traffic rules.