Boko, Aug 7: The increasing presence of battery-operated rickshaws, also known as E-Rickshaws, has become a major cause of massive traffic jams in Boko town on a daily basis. Hundreds of E-Rickshaws flock to Boko town through the highway, resulting in severe congestion on National Highway 17. The situation has become a matter of concern as several accidents have already occurred due to the reckless behaviour of E-Rickshaw drivers.
Anupam Rabha, a mechanic dealing with E-Rickshaws, stated that four shops in Boko sell approximately 100 E-Rickshaws each month.
In response to the growing issue, Kamrup district transport officer Rupjyoti Kalita asserted that E-Rickshaws operating on highways are strictly prohibited. A road safety awareness meeting was recently organised in Boko to address the problem. Kalita warned that legal actions will be taken against E-Rickshaw operators if they continue to violate traffic rules.
An enforcement inspector of Kamrup district, Krishna Kanta Patgiri, and his team visited Boko on Saturday to assess the situation. However, they faced challenges in controlling the traffic jam and seizing E-Rickshaws that were breaking traffic rules due to limited space in the Boko police station for storing seized vehicles.
The officer-in-charge of Boko PS, Phanindra Nath, revealed that they had previously seized E-Rickshaws for violating rules, but some drivers resumed their reckless behaviour after a brief period of compliance. He also expressed that taking action against violators often results in allegations of police brutality from E-Rickshaw drivers, who claim to represent the poor and working class.
Moreover, it has been reported that certain community leaders have influenced E-Rickshaw drivers to threaten protests if their vehicles are seized, rather than advising them to abide by the rules and regulations. This has added to the challenge faced by the administration in controlling the situation and ensuring smooth traffic flow in Boko town.