#Kolkata: The state government has no idea how much Toto runs in the state. The transport minister says Toto is not recognized as an approved passenger carrier. Toto is also not safe when it comes to passenger safety. For that reason, the state government wants to remove Toto and run e-rickshaws in the area.
In a question-and-answer session in the Assembly on Thursday, Dinhata Trinamool MLA Udayan Guha said Toto was running in large numbers in almost all the districts of the state. They do not have any permission from the transport corporation. This unauthorized Toto is one of the causes of traffic jams. For that reason, it is imperative to regularize Toto. Legal action also needs to be taken against illegally operating Toto manufacturers. In response, Minister Hakim said Toto was illegal. That is not enough for passenger safety. The state is trying to replace Toto with an e-rickshaw. However, a case related to Toto is currently pending in the Alipore court. That is why the state transport is trying to run the e-rickshaw by settling the case quickly. At the same time, the Department of Transportation has started a survey to get an estimate of how many Totos are in operation in the state. While acknowledging Udayan’s allegations of traffic congestion, the minister said, “We are trying to resolve the issue by settling the Toto case quickly without taking any immediate action.”
Despite the minister’s decision to hand over Toto, there are many questions in the concerned quarters. Question 1 – Will Toto be handed over one by one or step by step? Question 2 – In case of loneliness, has the government fixed its date? Question 3 – What is the government’s plan to rehabilitate Toto drivers when Toto is up? Question 4 – Will Toto drivers get financial help or priority from the government to get the proposed e-rickshaw? The government will have to resolve these issues before implementing the decision.
According to political circles, Toto is now one of the most popular means of transportation in the district. Millions of people in the state make a living by running Toto. Panchayat elections are ahead. In the face of elections, it would not be prudent to push the millions of Toto-dependent families in the districts into an uncertain future without proper rehabilitation. As a result, even if it is decided in court, it is difficult to implement it before next year’s panchayat elections in the state.