September 15, 2023
Pune: Baghtoy Rickshawala, an auto rickshaw association, held an awareness campaign at Goodluck Chowk on September 15 demanding Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad be made traffic-free and not issuing new rickshaw permits.
Dr Keshav Kshirsagar, President of Baghtoy Rickshawala Association said, “We have started an awareness campaign in Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad against the increasing traffic & problems arising due to it. We all know that the main reason for traffic issues in Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad is the increasing number of autorickshaws. There is a clear indication that, for every 1 lakh people in a city, there must be only 800 rickshaws which means, for around 125 people, there must be only 1 auto rickshaw. However, today the situation is such that there is 1 auto rickshaw for around 70 people. Rickshaw permit issuance was stopped.”
He further stated, “In 2017, the permit was started again. Now, any person can go and get a rickshaw permit & buy an auto rickshaw. In the last 5 odd years, the number of auto-rickshaws has doubled in Pune city. Due to the unemployment situation in the country, many people have started driving auto rickshaws. Finance companies give auto rickshaws to such people with zero down payment. Hence, the established auto rickshaw drivers’ income has reduced a lot. Several rickshaw owners buy rickshaws on loan & due to a decrease in income, they are becoming bankrupt.”
“Electric auto rickshaws are increasing today which do not have permits as well. If this increase keeps continuing like this, soon there will be more than 1 lakh auto rickshaws in the city & common people won’t have space to even walk freely. If the permit issuance isn’t stopped in Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad in the next 3 to 4 months, then there will be fierce protests, chakkajaam etc,” he further added.
All other members of the association like Sudhakar Survase, Gopal Bandal, Ravi Thakur and all others have the same demands.
Kshirsagar further stated that the association will continue this campaign after the Ganesh festival every Saturday for 2 hours in Pune city, the details of which will be out soon.
Hence, Baghtoy Rickshawala Association has appealed to everyone to participate in the campaign to make Pune & Pimpri Chinchwad traffic-free by making these hashtags trending on all social media platforms – #trafficfreepune #trafficfreepcmc #stopnewrickshawpermit.