Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Jun 30:
Buoyed by the enthusiastic response of women commuters in the city, Commissionerate police has decided to add 150 Pink Autos to its existing fleet of 350 women-only auto rickshaws plying on the roads in Odisha’s capital city.
“Due to the rising demand of the public, we are planning to add 150 more to the existing Pink Auto fleet, which currently has 350 autos, by July 14. We will also add 15 more Pink Auto kiosks to the existing 10 in different areas of the city,” Twin city Police Commissioner Rajendra Prasad Sharma said at a joint press conference with All Odisha Auto Chalaka Mahasangha to mark one year of the Pink Auto service here today.
The commissiner gave a pat on the back to the drivers of the Pink Auto service, launched a year back to provide safe, hassle-free and women-only transport to women commuters in the city.
“In the last one year, we have not received a single complaint from any passenger about the conduct and behavior of the Pink Auto drivers,” Dr Sharma gushed.
The Commissioner said 20 Pink Auto drivers will be felicitated every year based on their work and behavior in a bid to encourage them to provide efficient service to the women commuters with a smile.
“The Pink Auto project is not being funded by the state government. We are running it in collaboration with a few esteemed private organizations,” he said.
The commissioner urged auto drivers to help those who are in need of immediate medical attention, especially those victims of road mishaps.
Assuring them that they would not face any hassles in doing so, he said; “Auto drivers can inform us or the hospital authorities about any accident which has taken place in the city. I urge them not hesitate in doing so. I assure that they wont get entangled in any sort of paper work done by us.”
“I urge auto drivers carrying passengers to immediately call an ambulance or take the injured in the same auto after dropping the passengers in another auto if they find anyone injured in a road mishap,” said Subash Singh, President of the Sangha.
Singh also urged the drivers to pass on any information they have about the anti-social elements in the city to the police, which will help cops to a great extent in maintaining law and order.
“All the drivers will be given free personal accident insurance policy cover and health care,” he announced.
The pink auto project has been supported by Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL) and Piaggio Vehicles Private Limited (PVPL).