Jamshedpur: The district transport department along with traffic police today seized several overloaded vehicles (six vans and four auto-rickshaws) during the operation which lasted from 6.30 am to 7.30 am.
DTO Sanjay Kujur said that the drive against auto drivers and vans carrying more passengers than their permit is aimed at reducing cases of mishaps in city.
“The auto operators have been given permit by Regional Transport Authority (RTA). As five-seaters capacity (including driver). However, in the city the auto operators usually carry more than seven persons. From today, autos violating this provision would be liable for a fine of Rs 1000,” said the DTO.
“We are trying, with our existing manpower. We are booking cases especially near schools. But the transport department must follow it up with proper action,” said a traffic official. He added that this drive would continue in city at least for a month.
“We have seen passengers hanging on to the rod, overloaded as they are in an autorickshaw, as the driver runs the vehicle at full speed.
Our Administration should have strict rules and regulations in place monitor and levy fines. Otherwise it may be a repeat of other accidents that we see everyday,” said social worker.
State Congress leader SRA Rizwi Chabban said that the administration should take immediate steps to address issues of the auto drivers. He noted that when larger vehicles can run inside the city so why not tempos. District administration cannot create two laws for rich and poor. If that happens, drivers are willing to fight. The Congress party will not at all allow the government officials to harass the drivers.
The traffic official rued about lack of response shown by city-based schools to their suggestion of availing bus service to get rid of overloading menace.
Jamshedpur Abhibhavak Sangh (an outfit of city-based parents) president Umesh Kumar threatened to start agitation against the schools for not starting bus services as is being done in other cities of the state at Ranchi, Dhanbad and Bokaro.
Ahmed Khan, another van operator said, “We are poor lot of people and rely on school children for our daily bread. If police would limit the number of children to be traveled then it would be difficult for us to survive”.
“We demand that the administration should call a meeting and settle a fare for the school vans. The administration should also release those vans caught in the raid yesterday and today.
The traffic police is charging exorbitant amount as fines which is not possible for us to pay. Till the issue is resolved we would not operate our vehicles for school duty,” said another operator.