The Chandigarh dream of seeing only LPG compliant autoriskshaws plying on the city roads continues to linger, as almost two months have passed since the deadline expired. The State Transport Authority, Chandigarh, had earlier fixed the deadline for all autorickshaws plying here to get converted to LPG by August 31, 2009. However, the deadline is yet to be met, considering the standoff between autorickshaw union and the transport authority.
Petitions by the All-Mohali District Autorickshaw Workers’ Union and Chandigarh Autorickshaw Union challenging the UT Administration’s decision of making it mandatory for autorickshaws to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) after August 31 has already been filed.
Arvind Thakur, chairperson of the Global Human Rights Council (GHRC), who is also contesting the case on behalf of autorickshaw union, maintained that the petition had been filed challenging the orders by Chandigarh Administration.
Chairman of the Tricity Autorickshaw Union, Kamal Kant, alleged the UT administration tried to rush through to meet the deadline for getting the three-wheelers converted to LPG, without providing proper infrastructure. He maintained that only two LPG refill stations had been opened in Chandigarh and they were not sufficient to meet the requirement of LPG compliant autos in Chandigarh. The members added that long queues of autorickshaw waiting to refill LPG could be seen outside the pumps as the pumps had proven to be woefully inadequate to meet the demand of existing LPG autos here.
The members maintained that they were not averse to following the norms of plying LPG autos in the city, provided uniform environment policy was made, that kept the interest both of environment as well as autorickshaw drivers.
It is worth mentioning that the Chandigarh administration earlier had passed instructions to autos plying here to get themselves converted to LPG till August 31.