Diesel share autos in Chennai: A necessity as well as a menace

THOUGHTS ON LAST MILE CONNECTIVITY

All of us would agree there is a growing need for last mile connectivity in our public transport system. With the introduction of the Metro Rail and expansion of MRTS, the idea of a multi modal transport system is definitely a welcome move. Given the popularity and  large scale acceptance for shared public transport systems worldwide, is this not the right time for the administration to introduce clear guidelines and a set of rules for the privately operated share autos ?

Over the last several weeks diesel share autos which ply between Retteri and Perambur have been taking a detour from Perambur High Road through Venkatraman Canal Street, Vasan Street, Patel Road Lane and Kannabiran Koil Street to reach Madhavaram High Road and Vice Versa. ( Perambur, Ward 70 Zone 6, Chennai 600011).

Most of these autorickshaws are overloaded and can be seen overspeeding through the narrow residential lanes which are already ridden with all sorts of issues. These autos also contribute liberally to spreading pollution – both noise and gas.

“Diesel emissions contribute to the development of cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory health effects, pollution of air, water, and soil, soiling, reductions in visibility, and global climate change”.

It is no secret that most of the share autos in Chennai flout all the rules and it has been raised time and again through this forum as well as others, however,  no corrective action seems to have been taken. Wide spread corruption and a clear nexus between the politicians & officials is to be blamed for this situation.

School children at risk in overcrowded autos

Chennai’s popular ‘share autos’ operating illegally

Coming to my story, petitions were filed with the all the concerned agencies and the response from the Chennai City Traffic Police was : “The Sector Police deployed at that place, there are no any untoward incidents so far. Also given the Strictly Instruction to the auto drivers”.  Greater Chennai  Corporation officials, on the other hand, said they have nothing to do with issues relating to traffic violations and want us to contact the enforcement agency.

From the response received, we are left wondering if those within the ranks of the state administration will only act if there was some “untoward incident”. We seem to be living in a State where there is absolutely no sense of integrity, responsibility or accountability within the ranks of the administration. They just need some excuse or the other to pass the buck.

In our petitions we had suggested that a few iron pillars be installed at Thiruvengadam Street, Vasan Street and Patel Road Lane intersection as this could help curb the share autos from taking the route which is filled with narrow lanes. This is not something that we are asking for out of the blue. There are several places within the city where iron or concrete pillars have been erected in the middle of the street to stop heavy and commercial vehicles from plying through the lanes. Refer the images attached here below:

 

If this can be done in a few lanes right behind the GCC Office in Perambur as well as other parts of the city, why is there a reluctance on the part of the officials in addressing our concerns?

 

We have only been filing petitions all the time for one reason or the other and are today forced to consider other options.

  • Boycott the forthcoming civic elections
  • Stop paying our taxes.

What is the purpose in having a government which cannot deliver? It is also time for those within the ranks of the state administration to take a call on whether they are here to serve themselves, the politicians or the people.  Hope good sense will prevail!!

About Raghukumar Choodamani 11 Articles
Raghukumar Choodamani is a resident of Chennai and likes to write about his observations in Chennai.