The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 9 , 2014
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Rickshaws reined in

If you can’t control them, curb them. That seems to be the latest policy of the traffic department for dealing with rickshaws plying in the capital.

Unable to keep tabs on the mushrooming fleet of hand-driven three-wheelers, which are touted as the safest mode of transport but of late have emerged as a major traffic-stopper, the department has decided to slash their count.

In the first phase of the streamlining exercise, restrictions will be imposed on the 3km Main Road, where only 100 rickshaws will be allowed to ply. For this, traffic police will make permits mandatory for rickshaws that remain unmonitored at present. Among other measures, a dress code will be fixed for the rickshaw-pullers and a unique code given to their vehicles.

The traffic department made their plans clear while launching a traffic awareness campaign for rickshaw-pullers in Ranchi on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a workshop will be organised at Albert Ekka Chowk at 10am where the rickshaw owners will be apprised of the dos and don’ts.

“We did a survey that revealed that Main Road doesn’t need more than 100 rickshaws. Currently, the situation is such that no one knows how many rickshaws exist in the state capital. Such kind of ignorance can be dangerous as far as security is concerned. Therefore, we are now going to make permits mandatory for all rickshaws in the city,” traffic SP Rajiv Ranjan told The Telegraph.

Ranjan added that Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) would issue permits to the rickshaws. “I am also sending a proposal for issuing tokens to rickshaws that will enable us to keep a proper tab on the fleet. RMC will have to allot each rickshaw a unique number that will be written on the back of the three-wheeler,” the traffic SP said.

Also, all rickshaw owners have been told about introduction of a dress code and they accepted the proposal. “We will soon chalk out the colour of the uniform,” Ranjan said.

The department has also started a public address system informing commuters of traffic rules at select intersections two days ago. Initially, four places — Lalpur, Sujata Chowk, Albert Ekka Chowk and Kantatoli — have been covered. Six more will follow suit soon.

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