A day after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee expressed his intention to seek Calcutta High Court’s extension of the deadline for two-stroke autos to ply in the city,the government on Sunday decided to wait for a few more days before moving to the court.
State Home secretary Ardhendu Sen said that the monitoring committee that was set up to monitor the progress of the implementation of the court’s ban will be meeting on Monday to decide the day when the government wi be moving to court with the extension plea.
This will be the fourth meeting of the monitoring committee whose members have been appointed by the High Court. The panel is headed by Chief Secretary Asok Mohan Chakrabarti and include Ardhendu Sen,transport secretary Sumanta Choudhury along with experts from Jadavpur University and IIT-Kharagpur.
Meanwhile,the streets of Kolkata returned to normallcy on Sunday after a day of widespread violence and arson. Auto services became normal after the state government signaled a “go-slow” approach in implementing the ban after Saturday’s violence.
Auto-rickshaw stands in various pockets of the city that wore a deserted look for the last four days were once again decently packed with two-stroke autos,as the police crackdown on the illegal autos was missing.
“Because of the ban and the consequent agitation I suffered a huge loss for the last couple of days. Today,when I heard that the police would not go on a crackdown,I grabbed the opportunity,” said Ranjit Gupta,who runs his 10-year-old two-stroke auto-rickshaw on the Jadavpur-Taratala route.
Meanwhile,it was business as usual at the auto stands at Park Circus,Shovabazar,Ultadanga,Sealdah,Esplanade,Hazra,Rashbehari and Tollygunge Phari.
Though the commuters were glad to find their daily public transport back on roads,some blamed the lack of infrastructure and co-ordination in the government behind the current muddle. Some others blamed political parties for exploiting the situation. “We are used to the auto service and face problems when it is not running properly. But if the government is able to keep their word and the vehicles switch to cleaner fuel I am ready to suffer for a few more days,” said Priyanka Mukherjee,a resident of Dhakuria. Although,the autos were running as usual,today being a Sunday,there were hardly any takers. Long queues of autos were seen at the major auto stands be it in south or north Kolkata.