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Many auto rickshow drivers protested at the circus ground in Sector 17 against the decision of UT Administration to ban the entry of diesel autos in the city from November 1. A delegation of the union also met state transport authority (STA) secretary Satish Kumar Jain.
“Why are only, the auto rickshaws being targeted? Even the local buses should be asked to convert. We have requested the officials to lift the ban or else we will block entry points to the city from Panchkula and Mohali on November 1,” said Kamla Singh Dwivedi, Chairman of Tricity auto union. The administration officials guaranteed the protesters for providing the requisite finance for LPG autos by asking various banks for giving loans at lower rate of interest and also, promised the introduction of subsidies.
Currently, around 500 diesel autos are registered with the STA. In the past few years, the number of diesel autos have increased manifolds with most bearing registration numbers of Haryana and Punjab which enter the city daily. For enforcing the ban, the STA has hired new motor vehicle inspectors to carry out the implementation.
In 2009, the Supreme Court had issued directions for the conversion of all public vehicles for compulsory switchover to CNG or LPG as automotive fuel. Subsequently, the administration had issued an order for phasing out diesel autos which was finally implemented after a period of five years.