Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Aug 4:
In an effort to meet the increasing demand for women-only auto-rickshaws, mainly from working women, in the Odisha capital, the commissionerate police today added 91 more autos to its Pink Auto fleet.
With today’s addition, the number of Pink Autos in the city had now gone up to 457, Twin City Commissioner Dr RP Sharma said.
The new auto-rickshaws were flagged off at a glittering function held at Commissionerate Police headquarter office here attended by State Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Bhubaneswar Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, Twin City Commissioner of Police RP Sharma, Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi, and traffic DCP.
With more auto-rickshaws on offer with today’s addition to the fleet, the police has now extended the service to Rajmahal Square and Kalpana Square, two important junctions in the city.
In the first phase, the three-wheelers had started plying from Khandagiri, Baramunda, Vani Vihar, Railway Station, Master Canteen and KIIT Square.
On December last year, police had introduced five kiosks for the Pink Auto service. The kiosks located at Master Canteen Square, Vani Vihar Square, Jaydev Vihar Square, KIIT Square and Baramunda are equipped with land phones and female passengers can call the kiosks to avail the service.
Currently 5000 women passengers are commuting in 366 such vehicles and the number would reach 6500 with the addition of 91 more autos today. The operators of these vehicles have been provided with special identity cards, which are issued by the police after proper verification of their antecedents, said Dr Sharma.
The commissionerate police had launched the service with 203 pink auto-rickshaws on June 27 last year
The police have also decided to felicitate 20 Pink Auto rickshaw drivers every year based on their work and behaviour. “We want to encourage the auto rickshaw operators to behave properly with passengers and also help victims of road mishaps and take them to nearby hospitals. So far, we have not received a single complaint against any of the operators of pink auto-rickshaw,” said a police official.