Delhi govt plans to move SC seeking 50,000 more autos on city roads

The Delhi government is planning to approach the Supreme Court, seeking permission to add 50,000 more autorickshaws to the fleet of one lakh in the city. According to sources, Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj has already given permission for this proposal and the government is expected to approach the court by the end of this month.

The Supreme Court had in November 2011 lifted the cap on the number of autorickshaws, which stood at 50,000. After that, 45,000 more autorickshaws were allowed to be added to the existing fleet, of which permits to the SC/ST and OBC quota are still being issued. Now, the Transport department is seeking to add 50,000 more three-wheelers to break the autorickshaw cartel.

When questioned on how he would clamp down on the cartel, Bhardwaj had earlier said the number of auto-rickshaws plying on the road would have to be increased. "We need to add more autorickshaws in a phased manner, keeping in mind parameters like traffic congestion, pollution etc," he had said.

"We are already working on the proposal so that we have a detailed plan before we go to court seeking permission to allow 50,000 more autorickshaws in the city. But studies on congestion, pollution etc will be carried out before approaching the court towards the end of this month," a Transport official said.

Meanwhile, the Transport department had issued advertisements seeking permit applications for the SC/ST and OBC quota, after a government decision to issue 15,000 such permits. According to Transport department, 1,500 people have already come forward to apply for permits under these categories. "We are hoping to allocate all permits in these categories soon," an official said.

The government is also

looking at allowing 5,500 autos to ply across the National Capital Region.

No decision, however, seems to have been taken on the demand for rollback of CNG prices by autorickshaw unions. Last week, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the government was studying the issue and would reveal its findings in a couple of days.

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