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Wheels roll for some, stop for others
Pink autos make the right noise in Ranchi

The much touted pink autos in Ranchi finally started plying on Wednesday.

Superintendent of police (traffic) Rajeev Ranjan flagged off six of these three-wheelers from Argora Chowk at 10am for three routes — Argora-Overbridge, Argora-Birsa Chowk and Argora-Ratu Road.

Presently, two auto-rickshaws will ply on each of these three routes. As many as 12 women — two for each autos — have been deputed. Thus, drivers Sunita, Reena, Vinat, Bechni, Manju, Usha, Suman, Pinky, Gullu, Sukarmani, Pratima and Heera are ready to vroom in their pink vehicle.

However, these autos will still be illegal, as they do not have a permit yet. “I have asked the drivers to apply for route permit. One they apply, I will recommend the regional transport authority to allow these autos to ply in Ranchi Municipal Corporation areas,” said SP Ranjan.

President of Jharkhand Pradesh Auto Chalak Mahasangh, under whose banner the women were trained, Dinesh Soni said: “With introduction of the pink autos, one step has been taken in ensuring a women-friendly environment.”

The pink autos, meant for women and driven by women, were inaugurated on February 4, but could not take to the roads because the drivers did not have licences.

Only 12 of the 40 trained women drivers finally got their licences on Tuesday.

“I am happy that I could drive the auto-rickshaw to ferry women passengers. Earlier, I used to sit idle at home,” Sukarmani Devi told The Telegraph over phone on Wednesday.

Manager of Rajmani Property Private Limited and the man behind these pink auto-rickshaws Sanjay Sahu said that once these three-wheelers gain popularity, more would be introduced.