The cheapest mode of transportation in Cuttack also riskiest.
Partha Das, commuting, face a dilemma every day-whether or not to avoid Cuttack's the ubiquitous auto-rickshaws. Not every time the Das got into three-wheeler, he was able to flee this sinking feeling that he might lose his life as his body and even overloaded vehicle careens down the streets of the bustling city.
However, like most commuters, he has little choice but to climb to the Bajaj. They are cheaper than other transport modes. They are also more readily available. And they bring You to your destination, in and out of the city's traffic snarls.
Even as the auto-rickshaws can be the most affordable transportation for the city filled with a population of 5, 34, 654 (2001 Census), but a sharp increase in their numbers in recent years has become a major headache for city planners and law enforcing agencies.
With more than 4000 auto-rickshaws plying on the streets of the city, the issues relating to the traffic has increased. And the menace Bajaj took different forms.
Earlier, police and transport officials have charged three passengers plus one, including the driver, norma in the wake of the High Court of Odisha in November 2009 to stop the overloading of passengers in an auto-rickshaw. As part of the PILL on civil issues in Cuttack, it has been alleged before the Court that most auto-rickshaw broke the rules and the package as a lot of people and children as possible in the vehicles flouting those all rules.
Motor vehicle laws stipulate that no more than three adult must travel in the Bajaj.
However, even today the cart cars can be seen plying with three passengers in the front, including the driver in many parts of the city. "Travel by sharing auto-rickshaws, even for short distances, is cause for concern. During peak hours, this share auto-rickshaws carrying at least five to seven people to three are allowed. Drivers sometimes persuade more people to enter, leave a little space in their huts. Maybe there is almost no place to sit, "said g. Tripathy, a commuter from Badambadi. "Imagine three people sitting on the bench that is supported by a small wheel in front," he said.
"They are still carrying five passengers and drive recklessly once before," said Priya Rao, Buxi Bazaar residents who depend on autos for the daily commute to Office at the Link Road. Auto drivers can be seen carrying excess passengers in nearly all the routes including the busy Bazaar, Badambadi, Buxi Ranihat and College Square.
Auto-rickshaw is a vehicle that is not stable and if overloaded may give rise to dangers, recognize the officer Department of transport. Add to rash driving.
Sources say there are plenty of drivers in the city that have auto-no DRIVER'S LICENSE and they often ply "stolen or borrowed" vehicles. It was also alleged that the arrogant behavior many time resort.
Apart from this, the drivers can be seen stopping vehicles even in the midst of a busy road to pick up passengers who often lead to accidents.
Although the Police Commissionerate has adopted the "strict policy", the Bajaj continued to violate the rules by leaving. Police said they are trying their best to keep errant drivers in check.
"We take any action to prevent overloading and rejection," said a high-ranking police officer (traffic). He said police have been conducting frequent checks in with an auto-rickshaw overcrowding, driving without a license or plying the road without paying taxes.
"Drivers are typically young men in the age group 20-25 years old which is primarily the reason why they enjoyed driving the rash. We have created a database of all the drivers and owners to automatically capture holding them in the case of any accident, "police said, adding at least 30 to 50 auto-rickshaws everyday caught and fined around the city for over-crowding and plying without a license.
He said police also held a meeting with the Bajaj driver and unions on the occasion as ' traffic ' week in January and remind them of the safety of passengers.
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