Sunday, 26 January 2020 08:07

New government plans to reduce three-wheelers

Transport Ministry plans s to reduce imports of three wheelers considering a ban on new imports despite protests of trade unions.

Minister Mahinda Amaraweera,said that there is a proposal to replace three-wheelers with small cars due to the many restrictions faced by three-wheelers from the development of road infrastructure.

“We will first introduce a uniform for all three-wheeler drivers and make it mandatory. Then we will look at fare meters and pricing,” he said.

Unionists are said to have handed a report to the minister. It will be presented to the Cabinet next week.

According to the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) 18,836 new three-wheeler were registered in 2018, while in 2019, numbers dropped to 14,378.

The department also revealed that 1,175,077 motor tricycles have been registered as of 16 January 2020.

“The talk of banning three-wheelers has been around for many years and I believe that none of it is true,” the president of the All-island Three-Wheel Drivers Union, Lalith Dharmasekara, said.

He said that a ban will create a social issue. “If the rumours are true, the politicians are only trying to suppress the small man,” he said.

Mr. Dharmasekara said available regulations must be implemented.

According to him, there are also views on social media about banning three-wheelers from the Colombo district.Most people use three-wheelers to travel from point A to B. When this vehicle is banned what is the alternative?” he asked.

The head of the All-island Three Wheel Drivers’ and Owners’ Association, Sudil Jayaruk, believes that three-wheelers can not be banned as they are the most used passenger transport mode after buses and trains.

But, he said, the government could drive out three-wheelers.

He claims that more highways, reduced leasing facilities, and urbanisation are ways in which the governments over the years have been gradually posing a challenge to the existence of three-wheelers.

(LI)

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