A day after the Vadodara police prohibited entry of autorickshaws in old city areas of Lehripura Gate, Gendi Gate, Panigate and Champaner Gate between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm, auto union leaders said the move will not help solve the problem of traffic congestion.
“Declaring the area a silence zone is a welcome step but prohibiting entry of autorickshaws is not going to solve any problem. If you do not want traffic, ban entry of all the vehicles,” said vice-president of the Vadodara City District Auto-rickshaw Drivers Union Prakash Khare.
Opposing the no-entry notification issued by police commissioner Satish Sharma, Sohail Pathan, an auto driver, said, “Why have they allowed entry of city buses and four-wheelers? The problem will be solved if police crack down on unauthorised autos and declare main roads in the area a no-parking zone.”
Jayesh Rajput, a driver from Panigate area, said the notification would force them to hike fares. “To go to the railway station from Panigate, the shortest route is via Mandavi. But due to the ban, we would either have to go via Vadi or Fatehpura and charge passengers more,” he said.
Commuters also suggested that the police should look for some other option. “Buses on these routes are not regular, so the ban would add to the inconvenience faced by locals. We need more flyovers,” said Kamal Gohil, a resident of Vadi.
Autos ferrying school students and patients have been exempted from the ban.