The auto drivers complain about the delay in subsidies from the government to shift from two strokes to four-stroke auto engines.
Shakeb Zuber| October, 15th 2019| Bengaluru
Auto drivers in Bangalore are finding it difficult to shift to four-stroke engines from two-stroke engines. They complain that a delay in government subsidy is forcing them to continue driving two-stroke engines. Out of around 3000 applications filed last year, only 900 drivers have received the subsidy to shift to a 4 stroke engine.
The Autorickshaw Scrap Policy, 2017, requires the auto drivers to scrap the auto first and then apply for the subsidy. “Since 2017-18 government has come up with a new policy which wants the autos to be scrapped first and then after receiving the certificate, they can avail for the subsidy. So the vehicles getting scrapped first and drivers did not receive the subsidy. The drivers don’t also receive financial assistance from the government. No bank even gives them loans for the auto and that is a major problem. If the drivers receive the loans from the government scheme, the drivers will come forward to scrap the old two-stroke autos,” said M.Manjunath, manager of Adarsha auto union.
The state government allocated 30 crore rupees to scrap two-stroke engines in 2017-18 as they are prone to cause air and noise pollution. According to the Transport Commissioner’s office, there are still around 27,000 auto drivers using two-stroke engines. Additional Commissioner for Transport, Mr Shivaraj Patil said, “There is no ban on two-stroke autos, but the auto drivers will need to produce a fitness certificate by the end of March next year.” The two-stroke autos are unlikely to get such certificate as it does not come under the regulation of norms.
Advisor to the government of Karnataka on transportation, Mr. M.N Sreehari said, “When the technology is available why they should not go for it and secondly government should provide adequate subsidy with loan facility to manage and maintain conversion kit.” Two Stroke engines cause more pollution and hence it is better for the environment or people’s health to opt for four strokes or use electrified battery-operated engines.