Mangaluru, Nov 23, 2014: It is little known fact that permits for auto rickshaws, issued for about Rs 500, is sold for a unbelivable sum of Rs 1.75 lakh or even more in shady deals in this district of DK.
Members of auto rickshaw drivers associations blatantly pointed this out at a meeting convened by DK DC A B Ibrahim here on November 22, Saturday. Members of DK district auto rickshaw drivers association, Mangaluru taluk auto rickshaw drivers association and DK auto rickshaw drivers federation complained that auto rickshaw permits issued under various government schemes are being misused and sold for exorbitant amounts. They alleged that auto rickshaw permits issued under various schemes that are implemented for the welfare of SC/ST, minorities and other weaker sections are sold illegally for large sums of money.
An auto driver alleged that a few persons who obtain auto permits operate only during night and are busy with other business during day time. This is an injustice to eligible unemployed youth. Senior auto driver said that Mangalore City Corporation has rejected his application for loan to purchase a new auto considering his age. The DC directed the officials to give publicity to the rules and regulations of the schemes. On auto parks in the city, the DC said that he has discussed the issue with MCC officials.
"Auto rickshaw permits are being sold in black market for huge amount. Though the permit costs about Rs 500, it fetches about Rs 1.75 lakh or more illegally changing hands. The district administration should check such irregularities by introducing restrictions. Let permits be issued to those unemployed youth, who are interested to drive auto rickshaw and make a livelihood," said District Auto Rickshaw Drivers Association treasurer VN Prakash.
Taluk drivers association president B. Vishnumoorthi urged the district administration not to issue permits to businessmen and employees. "There are many people, who own 10-12 auto rickshaw permits in the city. Issue permits to only those who work as auto rickshaw drivers," he said.
Federation president Ashok Kumar Shetty said that the district administration should take steps to prevent all irregularities.
Auto rickshaw drivers demanded that Zone I (Mangaluru City) permits should not be issued to drivers, who live outside the city corporation limits. They also urged the district administration to make it mandatory for all auto rickshaws to display zone number in 6x4 inch space.
Deputy commissioner Ibrahim directed RTO Afzal Ahmed Khan to take necessary steps to prevent such illegal transactions. The DC directed officials to scrutinize applications under various schemes of central and state governments properly before sanctioning auto rickshaws. The Mangalore RTO had stopped issuing permits under general category in 1997 considering the increase in the number of auto rickshaws in the city. But, the ploriferation of new autos is at a peak.