One step closer to greener city

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Pollution levels in the city are seeing a new high and to keep a check on it, the State Transport Department is taking steps to ensure that that the city’s transport system is environment friendly. Department officials held a meeting with representatives of various banks and asked them to finance autorickshaw drivers, who want to convert their two-stroke vehicles into four-stroke ones. The department is extending subsidy for the conversion.

Last year, the state government came out with a scheme to provide Rs 15,000 subsidy to auto drivers opting for conversion. But the scheme was put on hold as many banks refused to extend loans to auto drivers, saying it is difficult to recover loan amount from auto drivers.

“The bank representatives told us that they are yet to recover the money given to auto drivers a few years ago to buy new three-wheelers. But autorickshaw associations have given an undertaking that they would ensure repayment. Convinced with this, the banks have agreed to sanction loans. The auto drivers have to deposit the Rs 15,000 subsidy amount with the banks to get loans. It is necessary to have four-stroke autos, as two-stroke autos pollute the city,” said the State Transport Commissioner K.R. Shrinivas.

There are over 80,000 autos in the city, and of them, 30,000 are two-stroke. These autos contribute majorly to air and noise pollution as their silencers can easily be tampered with.
“Each new auto costs around Rs1.42 lakh. The subsidy amount to be extended by the transport department will be of great help to auto drivers. Auto unions have promised the banks that they will ensure Rs 16 crore in outstanding loans would be recovered fast. We will ensure that all two-stroke autos will be off the city roads,” said Mr Somashekara, a representative of a city auto union.

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