Tripura starts meter auto as mass transport means

Agartala, April 6 : In a bid to strengthen the public transport system in the capital city, Tripura government abolished route permits for Auto-rickshaw in the m cipal area and introduced meter based fare collection at any distance from Wednesday, said Transport minister Pranajit Singha Roy. He said the existing point to point permit based auto service has created several inconvenience for the city commuters and movement of passengers beyond designated destinations within the city in the existing permit based plying of auto-rickshaws, which has not only been creating problem for the dwellers but insisting people to avail personal vehicles or board paddle rickshaw, thereby slow down the traffic as well as increases congestion. “Despite being small in size, Agartala has some disadvantages for public transport. The markets, commercial areas and the habitations are spread in such a manner where running of buses in all the residential areas is not convenient due to road space and passenger traffic. As a result, people of the city depend on auto-rickshaw or paddle rickshaw where fare is negotiable and passenger friendly,” Singha Roy observed. He said the growth of personal vehicles in Tripura is as much as any other metro cities, which is gradually slowing down the public life, increasing pollution and compelled people to drive their personal car or bike because of convenient means of public transport. So, installation of meters to 1,571 auto-rickshaws in the first phase would bring comfort in city life and faster the movement, he pointed out. He added besides, as many as 32 buses of Tripura Urban Transport Company were introduced in Agartala city three years ago. But, most of the contractors had surrendered the buses citing that passengers were less interested to board on buses and prefer to use auto or personal transport for faster movement although still government persuading for running buses. Earlier, Tripura had bought at least 173 buses under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and violating the objectives of the mission those buses were leased out to private parties instead of running them under government to popularize bus travel and almost all of those buses have been condemned in a decade. BB BM

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