Road authority gives 5 year booster to CNG & LPG-run autorickshaws

Road authority gives 5 year booster to CNG & LPG-run autorickshaws

PUNE: The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) has extended the roadworthiness of autorickshaws running on cleaner fuels, like CNG and LPG, by five more years to 25 years. The move will benefit 6,962 vehicles in the city that were expected to be scrapped over the next five years.

Though gas-run autorickshaws will now enjoy extended life, the RTA has clarified that those running on petrol and diesel will be scrapped after 20 years of registration. About 11,000 autorickshaws in the city are still running on petrol of which 6,363 are expected to be scrapped over the next five years.

Officials in the Regional Transport Office said the decision was taken recently during a meeting of the transport authority. “The authority has, however, rejected the unions’ demand to extend the deadline for petrol and diesel-run vehicles,” they said.

The officials said: “The transport authority’s directives have made it clear that permits of 6,363 petrol-run autorickshaws will expire in the next five years. However, drivers of these vehicles can also benefit if they install CNG kits before termination of their permit.”

Sources in the RTO said drivers also need to understand that installation of CNG kit would not only extend the worthiness of their vehicles by five more years, but it would also help them earn more because there is sizable difference in prices of petrol and CNG.

They said the government has made it mandatory for autorickshaw owners in the city to install CNG kits to curb pollution. “Of the 43,000 autorickshaws in the city, over 27,000 have fitted CNG kits in the last three years,” they said.

Reluctance on the part of the autorickshaw drivers has been the main reason for authorities failing to achieve the target. “When a deadline was set to complete installation of CNG kits, the autorickshaw unions opposed it demanding more time. Almost three years have passed but the target has not been achieved yet,” they said.

Officials in the RTO said the transport authority’s latest directive to extend deadline for CNG-run autorickshaws is likely to encourage more drivers to opt for CNG-kits.

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