Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Unjustified auto fare hike of 30% is anti-people policy

New Delhi, May 1 2013: The Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party today strongly criticized the latest decision of Delhi government to substantially hike auto-rickshaw fares in the Capital. The party has termed this move as “anti-people” and demanded that the government should immediately withdraw this unjustified hike. 

“Already facing an uphill task in making both their ends meet due to skyrocketing prices, hike in power and water tariffs, the unjustified hike in auto rickshaw fares would make lives of common city residents even more difficult ,” Delhi BJP President Vijay Goel said. 

He pointed out that the latest fare hike is a part of the anti-people agenda adopted by Congress government in Delhi, when it comes to providing affordable transport services to citizens of Delhi. 

“The government has failed to provide sufficient number of buses resulting in large sections of populations being dependent on auto-rickshaws which are controlled by cartels in the city. Enough evidence has come to light in the past about some financers owning hundreds of auto rickshaws which is not permitted under law.” An auto policy should be formulated that whoever plies the auto with badge should only be allowed to be the owner of auto. 

“But the Congress government, instead of breaking these cartels and providing respite to common people from their highhandedness, is going ahead to add large number of more auto rickshaws to the city traffic by opening granting of permit to them. This would lead to complete chaos on the city roads. 

“It is ironical that hundreds of buses, bought by the taxpayers’ money, are standing idle in bus depots even as Delhi Residents are struggling to have affordable public transport in the city. It is clear that had the government been plying sufficient number of buses, the menace of the auto rickshaws could be curbed,” Shri Goel said. 11,200 buses were to be issued as per the court orders in 2007 when blueline buses were phased out with 2010 set as a deadline. However, work has been tardy and only 6000 buses are on roads. Due to the huge shortage of buses, people will have to rely more on the autos, and will be forced to pay the increased fare. While spending crores of money on BRTS project, Congress govt. claimed to provide better facilities to daily commuters. But now BRTS project has been suspended while commuters’ worries continue to remain unabated. 

He reminded the Delhi government that a few months ago, the Delhi government had announced that all auto rickshaws would have GPS (Global Positioning System) and this would help to report their location in a centralized control room. This was supposed to put an end to enhance safety for travellers. 

The transport department does not monitor the movement of vehicles through GPS. The lakhs of rupees so far spent on installation of GPS devices (Rs. 17,500 per auto-rickshaw in 15,000 vehicles) has just gone down the drain. Installation of GPS device is a big scam. The transport department is trying to make one private company benefit from the entire exercise. The government has yet to set up its control room to monitor the movement of auto-rickshaws. 

In fact the price fare for auto rickshaws was hiked at that time also to compensate the additional expenses they would have to bear for installing GPS. “But while the commuters continue to bear the burden of overcharging and brunt of unregulated auto rickshaws, none of these tall promises have realized on the ground,” Shri Goel said.

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