Autorickshaw owners would have to procure their vehicles’ unique identification numbers from police by January 26. Else, they would be penalised.
The initial deadline for procuring the unique codes was January 15. Six days after the deadline, The Telegraph highlighted in its January 21, 2013 edition how several autorickshaws were still plying on the city streets without the unique identification number. Taking serious note of the issue, the police on Monday decided to take action against the vehicles not abiding by the norms by January 26.
Patna city superintendent of police (SP) Jayant Kant said on Tuesday that the police would start an intense reality check drive six days from now. The minimum penalty for plying autos without the unique numbers would be Rs 100. Kant warned: “The fine could increase.”
He said: “After Republic Day, the police would conduct an intensive drive to spot the autorickshaws plying without the unique numbers. All the police stations in the city have been informed about it. We are planning meticulously for the drive.”
Admitting that 30 to 40 per cent autorickshaws still did not have the unique codes, Kant said: “Initially, the deadline to procure the identification number was January 15. Majority of the work (around 60 per cent) was done within the deadline. We decided to extend the time limit till January 26 to ensure all the auto owners procured the identification numbers.”
While the city SP was keen on issuing the unique code to each and every autorickshaw, the members of Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association and Patna District Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association alleged that the police were demanding money for issuing the unique numbers.
Rajkumar Jha, the general secretary of Bihar State Autorickshaw Drivers’ Association, alleged that Khagaul police station officers asked four autorickshaw drivers to pay Rs 100 each for the unique identification number. “They had gone to the police station to get the numbers but were told that the deadline was over and the file had been sent to the Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP). Then, one of the officers demanded Rs 100 each from them. The association wants to know why the cops are charging money. A delegation would be meeting the Patna SSP to discuss this,” Jha said.
Kant, the city SP, trashed the allegation of the police demanding money for issuing the unique identification numbers.
“It is the job of the police to provide the unique identification numbers. There is no cost factor involved. The cost of printing the numbers on the autorickshaws has to be borne by their owners,” Kant said.