At least 1,700 auto-rickshaws have been identified which have not submitted fitness inspection and permit fee worth around Rs 85 lakh in the last 10 years. The State Transport Authority (STA) has started serving notices on the owners of these rickshaws, instructing them to submit the fee as soon as possible.
The fitness inspection of auto-rickshaws is necessary after every two years. Every auto-rickshaw owner has to renew the motor vehicle’s permit after every five years. The fee of permit renewal is Rs 5,000 after every five years. Rs 300 is the fitness inspection fee after every two years for first eight years and after every year for the next seven years. An autorickshaw is allowed to run on roads in Chandigarh for the maximum time period of 15 years.
Sources in STA said most of the autos out of 1,700 were diesel-operated, which are now off the road. The others are CNG-operated. “We learnt that diesel-operated autos, which are not plying in Chandigarh, are being used in Mohali district and Panchkula. We are giving a period of one month to the owners of these 1,700 autos to deposit fee with STA in Sector 18.” The autos were identified during the process of segregating the valid auto-rickshaws in Chandigarh. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed the Chandigarh Administration in October to frame a policy about the autorickshaws in Chandigarh. Simultaneously, instructions were issued for making sure the installation of fare meters in all the auto-rickshaws.
STA secretary Harjeet Singh Sandhu said, “1,700 autos were segregated after completing the multi-layer process. Normally, the life of one auto rickshaw is a maximum of 15 years. We calculated that 1,700 autos were once issued fitness inspection certificate and permit. Later, their inspection certificates and permits were not renewed. It is a direct loss to state exchequer. As per the UT Administration, maximum 6,000 autos can ply on Chandigarh roads. At present, only 3,741 autos are eligible for running in Chandigarh. A mobile application is being prepared storing the registration number of all valid autos. This app will be used by STA officers and traffic police personnel.”
In 2019, about 17,556 auto-rickshaws have been challaned for various traffic offences, including one without uniform driving, absence of fare meters in the autos, and over-speeding.