CM Kejriwal's return gift for Delhi auto drivers, allows them to refuse passengers
New Delhi, May 17: Acknowledging autorickshaw drivers' role in his poll victory, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced a slew of sops like annual fare revision, over 400 new halt-and-go stands and relaxation in rules, including permission to refuse customers while returning home.
On April 1 every year, government will revise auto fares, Kejriwal said addressing a meeting of thousands of auto drivers at Burari in Outer Delhi.
"This is our first meeting after winning the election. It is because of the autorickshaw drivers we got a heavy mandate in assembly election. Their contribution to our victory is more than 50 per cent," he said.
Kejriwal said a committee has been formed which will decide on the formula for fare revision.
"Based on that formula, each year on April 1 we will increase the fare. This formula will also be discussed with autorickshaw drivers," he said.
At the same time, the Delhi Chief Minister asked the auto drivers to improve their service and raised the issues of auto drivers turning away passengers and misbehaving, two of the most frequent complaints.
He also said that auto-complaint helpline number 011-42400400 will be revived to address the issue of overcharging and refusal. Strict action will be taken in case of violations.
"In three months, we have delivered on more than half the promises made to the auto drivers. Biggest problem for auto driver is rule of 66/192 A. Traffic police seize autos if the driver is not in proper dress and other minor violations.
"We have taken the power to book under section 66/192 A from police and given it to transport department. Now police cannot book you for minor offences. Now police can take action only for driving without permit, fitness certificate, driving license and for driving under influence of alcohol," Kejriwal said.
He also said drivers can refuse a passenger if they put up a display board showing the name of the place where he is heading while returning home.
"If you are going home in the evening, put up a placard with your route on it and you will not be challaned for refusing commuters," Kejriwal told the autorickshaw drivers.
Kejriwal also said that name of four GPS manufacturing companies has been put on display on transport department website which can provide the cheapest device to the drivers to install in their vehicles.
"If someone comes across a cheaper product, then inform us and we will put the company's name in our panel and upload it on the website," he said.
The Chief Minister announced that 425 halt-and-go auto stands will be set up, where five auto drivers can park their vehicles at a time.
"It was a long pending demand to make halt-and-go stand for auto drivers to wait as police used to beat them for parking on the road. We have already made 100 and will make total 425 auto stands across Delhi," Kejriwal said.
He also highlighted the problem being faced by auto drivers while renewing their auto license.
"According to the rules, class eighth certificate was required to renew auto license and there are many auto drivers who do not have it. So we have made changes in the rule and they can easily renew their licenses," Kejriwal said.
He also spoke about "problems" faced but auto rickshaw drivers who posted AAP's posters on their vehicles during the election.
"Police used to beat them and seize their autos as there was President's rule and BJP was ruling from Centre. BJP gave directions to police to challan auto drivers carrying our posters. But still auto drivers supported us believing that we will work for them," Kejriwal said.
The Chief Minister said he wanted to come before auto- rickshaw drivers only after delivering something for them and it took three months to frame new policies in this regard.
Kejriwal also stressed that corruption level in Delhi has come down. "Even auto drivers have given me feedback. We have not put complete end to corruption but it is down by 70-80 per cent," Kejriwal said.