HYDERABAD: The fate of autos in the twin cities now hangs in balance. The state government intends to replace autos with taxis in the next four years in the entire Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area to ease traffic congestion. The decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on Thursday.
Auto drivers who decide to switch over to taxis would be helped by the government in getting bank loans. They would be given Rs four lakh as loan at 3 per cent interest per annum.
The CM also directed the transport department to formulate a scheme to this effect at the earliest. He said that issue of providing loans to auto drivers would be taken up with bankers at the next state-level bankers’ meeting.
The decision is likely to run foul of auto unions who have resisted all efforts on the part of the government to regulate their functioning in the city. Moreover, there are nearly 1.10 lakh autos in GHMC limits and the government’s decision would have a tremendous impact on the livelihood of these drivers.
While the government has bigger plans, the transport department is struggling to get digital meters installed in autos. It has now convened a meeting with the unions on Oct. 24. The panel constituted to study this has already submitted its report to the government.