Many auto-rickshaw drivers in Vizag are seen playing loud music on their sound systems and driving rashly on city roads. And the kind of sound systems found on these auto-rickshaws are not the conventional type, such that they blast music into the surroundings. Some of these auto-rickshaw drivers even use loudspeakers on their autos to make announcements. After receiving a series of complaints from the citizens on the use of loudspeakers by auto drivers and creating nuisance on the roads, Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha IPS instructed all traffic police officers to take strict action against those who create noise pollution on city roads.
Additional Deputy Commissioner Police (ADCP) (traffic) Visakhapatnam, Ch Adinarayana spoke to the auto union leaders in Vizag and asked them to immediately identify the auto drivers with loud sound systems who are creating nuisance in the city. Those auto drivers who create nuisance and disturb their passengers, as well as the other people on the road, will be booked under the Motor Vehicle Act 1988.
Majority of the auto drivers in Vizag who set up loud sound systems for their autos are found to be youngsters, who are also seen riding rashly on the roads. It has often been observed in the city that the passengers in the shared autos are pleading with the auto drivers to lower the sound. But the auto drivers are seen to not care at all. Due to their rash driving, auto-rickshaws are also frequently involved in road accidents. “Many auto drivers are seen creating nuisance on the road by playing songs with a loud sound. Even though we continuously sound horns to give us way and let us pass, auto drivers do not even bother about other vehicles,” said Murthy, a resident of Murali Nagar.
While auto-rickshaws are not the sole contributor to noise pollution in Vizag, their loud sound systems are certainly not helping. Additionally, in the times of the pandemic, the shared autos in the city have turned into Covid-19 hotspots, with social distancing norms going for a toss. While auto-rickshaws continue to be one of the preferred modes of public transportation in the city, certain aspects of them need to be reviewed in order to not cause the passengers and other travellers any inconvenience.