Pune: A quantum jump in the number of auto-rickshaws in the city has added to the traffic burden. The new permit policy has introduced 20,000 new autorickshaws on the road. The system of issuing permits has been made fully online.
The Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) had launched a portal for accepting applications for grant of fresh autorickshaw permits in July 2017. It received 20,000 applications and the flow of applications continues unabated till date.
On June 17, 2017, the State Home Ministry issued a circular, which discontinued the restrictions put on issuance of fresh permits by the then government in November 1997. For the past 20 years, the number of auto permits in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Solapur, Nashik and Aurangabad had remained frozen.
Earlier, there were 46,006 autorickshaws on road. After adding 20,000 new autos, the number increased to 66,000.
According to RTO, they received 21,563 new applications through the online system. Of these, 19,683 autorickshaws were given temporary numbers. In the first phase, 8,927 autos were given permanent registration numbers.
“Everyday, a team of five staff members processes 100 applicants. This is being done for the past several months without interruption. The online procedure is easy. We are trying to provide permits to new auto-rickshaws on an immediate basis,” said BI Ajri, RTO, Pune.
“The applications are being allocated and messages are being sent to the concerned applicants by the National Informatics Centre. The daily processing could go up next week, which will help us in reducing the pendency,” said Ajri.
He said the process is completely transparent. There could be no wrongdoing in the way appointments are being granted.