BONGAIGAON, Nov 14 - The increasing number of auto-rickshaws and tempos, plying in the district headquarter town here, allegedly breaching the jurisdiction mentioned in the permits, has created chaos and accentuated the problem of traffic bottleneck right under the nose of the District Transport department and the traffic police at the cost of citizens� civic rights since a long period of time.
Despite regular patrolling by enforcement team of the Transport department and on-duty traffic police in the town, auto-rickshaws having permits for plying on routes outside the town area, enter the town and run on its main road caring two hoots for the traffic rule enforcement authorities, leading to traffic jam and chaos in the town.
�I cannot devote time to check this problem as my sole concern is to earn revenue�, this was the response of Abdul Mazid, District Transport Officer, Bongaigaon, on this issue.
Refuting charges against his office raised by the auto-tempo drivers� unions, Mazid said these unions are not registered, they often engage in internal bickering and so he is not bothered about the allegations brought forward by the unions.
The existing route permits of some auto-rickshaws, that are permitted to ply on the outer periphery of the town, are being changed, in the District Transport Office to ensure that they can entre the town, alleged the leaders of a registered union.
However, changes in the route permits of some auto-rickshaws have been done on the basis of �special provisions�, an employee of the DTO told this correspondent in front of Abdul Mazid, the District Transport Officer, Bongaigaon, which means that the entry of additional number of auto-rickshaws in the main town area has not been checked yet by the district Transport department despite repeated plea made by the unions.
When asked, some local senior citizens said that being a public servant, the District Transport Officer is bound to ensure traffic safety for the public from whom he collects revenue for the Government. Only revenue collection does not signify his duty as a public servant, they added.
The District Transport department has failed to fix as yet the number of auto-rickshaws which can run in the district headquarters town. Even the total number of the auto-tempos plying in the town is unknown to the concerned authorities, which is a laughable matter, the union leaders said.
Faced with this burning issue, the genuine auto-tempo drivers have decided to go on a protest against the authorities concerned and they would finalise their agitation next week, they said.