With more than 35,000 autorickshaws running on city roads and the majority of them without registration and documents, the traffic police has tightened the noose around illegal autorickshaws, and those running illegally are being impounded through special drives.
As per the data of the Ludhiana Traffic Police, more than 180 autos have been impounded by the traffic department in the last 20 days and 678 issued challans for violating various norms.
However, the autos whose owners fail to produce any documents of ownership or registration are impounded by the police and kept at Police Lines junkyard or the nearest police station from where the auto is impounded.
But since the junkyard of Police Lines is already overloaded with old vehicles lying for years, the police do not know where to keep the autos now. Talking to Newsline, a traffic cop said, “The Police Lines junkyard is already full. The way we are proceeding with drives against autos, very soon there will be no space to accommodate more autos. Moreover, not only autos but other vehicles like trucks, cars, trolleys are also impounded regularly. For the time being, we have been asked to park the autos in the garden area of Police Lines.”
Rahul Verma, a consultant to the Ludhiana Traffic Police, said, “The problem is genuine as even the police stations are not spacious enough to accommodate the impounded autos in the coming time. Not only autos, a similar problem is being faced for accommodating heavy vehicles like trucks and overloaded trolleys which are impounded during night drives. We have suggested to the traffic police that spacious mandi at Hambran may be taken after permission from authorities.”
A source said that although the auction of some junk vehicles was held around six months back, the junkyard of Police Lines was still home to vehicles impounded since 1990s. “During terrorism in Punjab, many vehicles were impounded as case properties. Till cases are not over, we cannot dispose of the case properties,” he said.
When contacted, ACP (traffic) Richa Agnihotri said, “We are adjusting the autos in nearby police stations. Space to keep impounded vehicles will be arranged but the drive against illegal autos will continue.”
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