Electric auto rickshaw drivers face unofficial ban in Kozhikode city
Electric auto-rickshaw drivers are struggling to run within the corporation limits of Kozhikode district.
There are 167 e-auto-rickshaws in the district. Out of this, 63 are running within the corporation limit. E-auto-rickshaw drivers claimed that they are denied parking areas and are not allowed to take passengers by other auto-rickshaw drivers. They were blocked by a group of auto-rickshaw drivers near the KSRTC bus stand on Monday claiming that parking was not allowed in the area.
The government is encouraging people to buy electric auto-rickshaws by offering subsidies. Diesel auto rickshaws that are more than 15-years-old will be banned from January 1. The government amended the MVD act in order to curb air pollution based on the instruction of the National Green Tribunal.
KT Sabilesh, vice president of the Independent Electric Auto Rickshaw Coordination Committee, stated that they are facing an unofficial ban.
KP Shaji is the first person to run an electric auto-rickshaw in the corporation limits. He bought the vehicle 16 months back. However, other auto-rickshaw drivers are not letting him park his vehicle in the city. Also, the decision to approve charging stations for auto-rickshaws is yet to be implemented.
City Auto-rickshaw Coordination Committee convener, P Hemanth Kumar stated that only parking facilities are available for only 400 auto-rickshaws in the city. There are 4,337 auto-rickshaws with CC permits in total. If e-auto drivers are provided parking space, it would take away the limited parking area available for the rest of the drivers, he said.
Meanwhile, the deputy chief engineer of electrical section in KSEB stated that battery charging stations would be set up in 25 centers within the city alone. Application has been filed for the approval of the board. In the corporation limit, charging stations would be set up in 20 areas. Charging stations will be set up on Mavoor Road, Palayam and Medical College among other areas.