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Old vehicles ban: Commuters bear the brunt in standoff

With the crackdown on vehicles older than 15 years entering its third day,commuters faced inconvenience as many vehicles remained off the roads on Monday.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata |
August 4, 2009 5:05:35 am

With the crackdown on vehicles older than 15 years entering its third day,commuters faced inconvenience as many vehicles remained off the roads on Monday. Though the government made provisions for running extra vehicles from today but with the number of private vehicles remaining less,office-goers and schoolchildren faced the brunt.

“I usually take an auto to reach the nearest Metro station. With no autos,however,I had to take a rickshaw,which charged me high amount,” said A Chowdhury,a resident of Nagtala. Though Saturday and Sunday saw the confiscation of a few old vehicles,Monday went off peacefully. Buses,minibuses,taxis and autos,which fall within the purview of the ban remained off the roads because of the fear of being confiscated.

The auto-operators,meanwhile,submitted a deputation to the Public Vehicles Department (PVD) on Monday,demanding the extension of the fitting of LPG kits to all two-stroke autos. The government had recently announced that it would allow LPG kits to be fitted into single mode two-stroke autos,which were registered after August 1,2008.

“The government has allowed autos registered after August 2000 to be converted to single mode LPG by fitting the LPG kit and elimination of petrol flow option. But from where do we get these kits. We also want the provision be extended to all autos,” said Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay,president,Kolkata Auto-rickshaw Operators Union. Auto-operators under the banner of Auto Bachao Committee held a rally from Hazra to the motor vehicles department and handed over their list of demands to the joint director,registration,PVD Mriganka Biswas,who promised to consider the issue.

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Govt to issue temporary permits for contract buses
To tackle the ongoing transport crisis,the transport department is inviting applications from operators of carriage vehicles to issue them permits for 31 routes for a period of 12 weeks.

The buses should have at least 31 seats and must meet either BS III standards or should be BS II buses manufactured after April 4,2004,says the notice of the transport department. “There are about 400 such buses and if we get them to run,it will provide a big relief,” Sumantra Choudhury,additional chief secretary,transport department,said. The permits will be issued from August 5. “The permits will be issued on a temporary basis and by the time the period is over we will have 1300 new buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission,” an official said.

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