Over 3,000 autorickshaw permits will be issued for the Kolkata, Howrah, Bidhannagar and Barrackpore police districts, the state government has decided.
A notice with the number of permits to be issued for existing routes in the four police commissionerate areas will soon be released by the transport department.
“We have assessed the demand and supply for the last mile connectivity based on the feedback from police and the authorities that register autos and decided to issue more than 3,000 permits,” said an official in the transport department.
“Accordingly, we have decided to create some new routes and increase the fleet strength on some existing ones to address the demand.”
Autorickshaw owners will have to get their vehicles registered before applying for a road permit by completing formalities, which include payment of registration fee and road tax.
The applicants will be then eligible to pitch for a route of their choice from the ones available in a particular area. Routes will be allocated to permit-holders on a “first-come first-served” basis, officials in the transport department said.
Some of the areas in Howrah where new routes will be created or the fleet strength on existing ones increased are Salkia, Howrah Maidan, Bamangachi, Howrah station and Shibpur.
In the Kolkata and Bidhannagar commissionerate areas, the routes where new autos will be accommodated cover Ultadanga, Salt Lake, Phoolbagan, Narkelbagan, New Town, Karunaoyee and Chingrighata.
“The fleet strength on 489 routes in the four police commissionerate areas will be realigned and 60 more routes will be created to accommodate new autorickshaws,” a transport department official said.
The state government has been struggling for some time to regularise hundreds of unauthorised autos plying on various routes in Kolkata, Howrah and North 24-Parganas.
Sources said the owners of most of the unauthorised autos had ignored repeated pleas to get their vehicles registered and operate illegally.
Now, these owners, after getting their vehicles registered and applying for a permit, will get to choose routes from the ones on offer, the officials said.
In case of an accident, passengers face problems getting legal assistance if the auto is unregistered and lacks a road permit.
“The target of the scheme to issue over 3,000 permits are the owners of unauthorised autos that have been running in Kolkata and its adjoining areas since March 31, 2019,” the official said.
“We are also encouraging owners of e-autos to come forward. The government will waive their permit fee and a year’s tax.”