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Autos get lighter as schools reopen

With the Administration relaxing its ban,autorickshaws could be seen ferrying children on Tuesday as schools reopened after winter break...

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh |
January 7, 2009 1:07:18 am

Adhere to 5-children-per-trip norm on Day One,to meet officials today with request to increase the number

With the Administration relaxing its ban,autorickshaws could be seen ferrying children on Tuesday as schools reopened after winter break. According to officials from the State Transport Authority (STA),they challaned several autos that were found to be violating the norms.

The Administration had earlier decided to impose a blanket ban on autos as a means of transport for students. But,failing to come up with an alternative,the Administration decided to set a few conditions instead of banning the autos altogether.

The STA has instructed the auto drivers to limit the number of children to five per trip. While the vehicles could be seen adhering to the norm on Day One,the operators have decided to meet DSP (Traffic) J S Cheema on Wednesday to put forth their demand for increasing the number.

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According to Jarnail Singh Chauhan,president,Auto Rickshaw Union,the parameters set by the STA will result in loss of business for them.

Ramphal,an auto driver said: “We usually ferry ten children per trip. At times,the number even goes up to 15. It will definitely affect our business if we stick to the five-children-per-trip norm. The Administration should keep in mind our interests too.”

Parents are,meanwhile,a happy lot as they were saved the trouble of arranging for an alternative mode of transport for their wards. “I was very worried about how to send my son to school. The Administration has shown concern towards the parents too by rethinking its decision on banning autos,” said Aniket Sharma.

“School buses charge anything between Rs 500 and 700 per month,while an auto costs up to Rs 300.

That is why these are the preferred means of transport,” said Shobha Solanky,a parent.

Talking to Newsline,STA secretary Vandana Disodia said any auto found to be overloaded would be impounded. According to the STA,as many as 23 autos were issued challans on Tuesday. Most of them did not have the pollution under control certificate and had not installed a fare meter. From Wednesday,DSP (Tarffic) J S Cheema said,the traffic police would issue challan to autos for overloading.

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