Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced that there would now be no restrctions on the number of passengers inside an auto rickshaw or other vehicles moving from one point to another in the capital city. This comes on a day when the fifth phase of lockdown - also called Unlock 1 - came into effect.
With a focus on restarting economic processes after weeks of strict lockdown, Kejriwal informed that the previous restrictions on number of passengers are not valid any longer. "In autos, e-rickshaws and other vehicles, as per earlier orders, the number of passengers was fixed. But now we are lifting the restrictions on the number of passengers travelling in auto, e-rickshaws and other vehicles," he said.
At the start of the fourth phase of lockdown, the Aam Aadmi Party's government had opened Delhi roads to autos, cabs, buses and private vehicles but had put restrictions on the number of people that can be inside at any given time. Autos were allowed to ferry only one passenger at a time which had led to many drivers questioning the move. "Most of the time, there are two people together. The government should allow at least two people to travel in auto as well apart from cabs. If we refuse, people cancel the ride," an auto driver had told news agency ANI.
Passengers too had been perplexed. "Do I put myself in one auto and my children in another," a passenger had been quoted as asking.
Apart from autos, buses were allowed to have only 20 passengers at a time while private cars could not have more than 2 people inside. Pillion riding on two-wheelers had also been prohibited. (Full report here)
On Monday, Kejriwal announced that Delhi's border will be sealed for another week and also invited suggestions from the local population in this regard.