The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to restrict its financial assistance scheme to old autorickshaws that have switched from petrol or diesel to CNG kits. Earlier, the scheme included all autorickshaws run on CNG. A proposal to this effect was sent to the Standing Committee on Thursday for discussion. “Last year, the PMC started an online application system where autorickshaw owners could seek financial assistance. A total of 4,600 applications were received, of which 208 applicants were provided assistance through direct benefit transfer system, as the project had a budgetary provision of Rs 25 lakh only,” Rajendra Nimbalkar, additional municipal commissioner, stated in the proposal.
“The 4,392 pending applications from last year were studied and it was observed that only 630 of the autorickshaws had converted to CNG engine, while the remaining 3,762 autorickshaws had factory-fitted CNG kits, installed at the time of manufacture…,” he added.
The Regional Traffic Office (RTO), as part of the initiative, had last year mandated that only CNG-run autorickshaws will be issued permits. Nimbalkar said, “It would be appropriate to provide financial assistance to old autorickshaws converting to CNG engine and reducing air pollution levels. Thus, the civic administration has sought Standing Committee’s approval to provide financial assistance of Rs 12,000 per autorickshaw only to the old vehicles that have changed the engine to run on CNG.”
The PMC had made a provision of Rs one crore for the scheme, in which 833 vehicles were supposed to get benefits. But, if the proposal is approved, the scheme would only benefit 630 autorickshaws.
In 2011-12, the PMC provided financial assistance to 1,651 autorickshaws from the Rs two crore budgetary provision, which was increased to Rs 12 crore in 2012-13 to benefit 8,739 autorickshaws. The scheme had benefited 1,650 autorickshaws in 2013-14, 2,164 in 2014-15, 1,140 in 2015-16, 354 in 2016-17, and 208 in 2017-18.