The government of Tamil Nadu has granted permission for auto rickshaws to ply across the state from Saturday with conditions. However, no autos will be allowed to operate in Chennai.
As per reports, a press release stated that autos in Chennai corporation and those in containment areas will not be permitted to run. In other areas of the state, autos and cycle rickshaws can start plying between 7 am and 7 pm.
The government also imposed conditions for resumption of auto rickshaw services in the state like the number of passengers allowed. Apart from the driver, the autos can carry only one passenger and the vehicle must be sprayed with disinfectants thrice a day. Face masks for the driver and the passenger and hand sanitisers are mandatory inside the vehicle. Drivers who live in containment zones will not be permitted to take their vehicles out for services. According to official records, around 2.7 lakh auto rickshaws operate in Tamil Nadu, says a report in the New Indian Express.
Several auto rickshaw workers’ unions across the state have urged the government to consider relaxing the rule about the number of passengers that can be ferried in an auto due to the impracticality of the stipulation.
The government of Tamil Nadu has granted relaxation on various activities in a gradual manner over the past two weeks. Last week, the state government permitted small stores (of all nature) and barber shops in rural areas to resume operations within the permitted timings. The government also relaxed norms around the functioning of offices in Tamil Nadu. Intra-district transport without e-passes has also been permitted by the government in districts which have been designated as safe zones.
Tamil Nadu, as of Friday evening, has reported 14,753 cases of COVID-19 with 7,128 recoveries. A total of 98 deaths have been recorded so far due to the disease.