From our Correspondent
TINSUKIA, Feb 16: With more than two thousand auto rickshaws plying uuthorised in Tinsukia district, the entire district and Tinsukia town in particular has become highly prone to road accidents while several hundreds unregistered e-rickshaws added further traffic chaos in Tinsukia town. The transport department’s effort to streamline issuance of permit has been pushed to wall due to excessive interference of local political leaders, youth organisations, unruly hooligans. The indifferent attitude of Tinsukia police in mitigating traffic problems has worsened the situation.
According to a source, as many as 3046 auto rickshaws have been issued permit in Tinsukia district ostensibly by previous DTO incumbents which is several times more than the carrying capacity of Tinsukia district and it is learnt that the present DTO too has been pressurised to issue more permits. Interestingly the DTO office had evolved tactic ways to issue permits in different routes which facilitated easy earning for both DTO officials and police. Besides specific routes which auto rickshaws often flout, there are ‘centres’ having permit to ply in 10 km radius. Thus an auto rickshaw after receiving a permit can operate in all directions. Surprisingly Tinsukia centre has 227 auto rickshaws while the corresponding figures are Makum 200, Panitola 201, Dhola-Rupai 205, Margherita 300, Doomdooma 135, Dinjan 67 and Sadiya 367 even as 82 and 53 numbers of auto rickshaws have been plying on Panitola to New Tinsukia station and vice versa.
A recent overloaded auto rickshaw carrying 15 passengers that met with an accident in which 4 passengers died and 11 others injured raised the very question of passenger’s safety. Investigations revealed that the ill-fated auto rickshaw had a lapsed permit but without insurance. According to reports, all uuthorised owners pay a fine to police periodically. To check the mece of uuthorised auto rickshaws, the DTO has mooted the idea to paint all authorised auto rickshaws having valid and clean documents with distinctive colour. This laudable step if implemented would not only reduce traffic congestion in the town but also will generate an awareness about safety norms.