Hailakandi, August 7, 2019:

Concerned over increasing number of unregistered e-rickshaws on roads, the Hailakandi District Transport Office (DTO) has launched a crackdown on such vehicle operators “to ensure public safety”.

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In a drive carried out in Lala town on Monday by a joint team of DTO, Circle Officer, municipal officials and law enforcing agencies, 12 e-rickshaws and auto-rickshaws have been seized. Altogether 23 cases have been detected in Lala alone.

Although DTO doesn’t have a definite figure about illegally plying e-rickshaws, according to officials, around 591 vehicles are registered with the transport office. The DTO is facing problem in registering the Chinese made e-rickshaws as they do not bear the manufacturer’s name or chassis number.

“The operation of unregistered battery operated rickshaws is rampant, which not only congests the roads, but the drivers create nuisance for boarding passengers. It’s difficult for us to trace unruly e-rickshaws to take action against them in the absence of registration. Thus, the transport authorities have made the right move by launching a drive against unregistered and unruly e-rickshaws,” said a traffic official.

District Transport Officer, SR Mannan said, “The drive is aimed at ensuring public safety. In Hailakandi district, around 591 e-rickshaws are registered with DTO. These registered vehicles are authorised to ferry commuters outside the town limits. The number of e-rickshaws has increased manifold, which is an indication that additional (in addition to the registered 591) vehicles are plying on roads illegally. In this scenario, we have decided to launch a drive to check registration certificates of e-rickshaws. Unregistered vehicle operators will face the music and they will not be allowed to ply till they get their registration done.”

Mannan said the drive against unregistered e-rickshaws would be carried out in Hailakandi town too.

During the drive, e-rickshaws and auto-rickshaws would also be checked for overloading of passengers for public safety, officials added.

Inamul Laskar, a businessman and resident of Kalibari Road, said, “The growing number of e-rickshaws has added to traffic woes on the roads. Many thoroughfares, including Bata Point, Kalibari Road, Shivbari Road etc, are often chocked by unruly e-rickshaw drivers.

Earlier, there were only limited number of e-rickshaws on the roads, but the number has increased manifold now.”

Mannan said the transport department will discuss ways and means with the district administration, traffic and municipal board to overcome the traffic snarls posed by the ever-increasing e-rickshaws by regulating their movement.

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