Tricks and ropes in three wheeler rat racing reign

Published : 8:59 am  May 26, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Rumana Razick
Three wheelers are a popular and fast mode of transport for short distance travel. However, the absence of laws and regulations has given rise to many discrepancies among three wheeler drivers and commuters.

meter3Statistics released by the Ministry of Internal Transport reveal that there weree 929,495 three wheelers in operation in Sri Lanka in 2014 with 79,038 new registrations. An official from the Three Wheeler Drivers’ Union said that the most number of taxis operated in Colombo.                                   

                                                                                         Speaking to Daily Mirror the Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dr. Lalithsiri Gunaruwan said that there were a number of things that needed to be done before regulating three wheeler fares.
“Three wheelers are being used for personal purposes, hires and public use. First, we need to identify and classify three wheelers in the country and set up rules and regulations needed for each category.  This cannot be done overnight and we cannot give a date as to when they will be implemented,” he said.

He went on to say, “The safety regulations for the three wheelers have been gazetted and submitted to the Cabinet for approval but there is nothing we can do to standardise three wheeler fares till they are are passed,” he said.

The president of the All-Island Three Wheel Drivers’ Union Lalith Dharmasekera Vithanage said that no measures have been taken by the Ministry of Transport to implement the proposed rules to regulate three wheelers and they would be filing for legal action against the relevant authorities if the laws were not implemented soon. “The rules relating to registration and licensing are the only laws existing to regulate three wheelers,” he said.

The Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) Rumy Marzook while adding that they have not received any complaints regarding rigged meters said that they are having discussions with the Ministry of Transport to formulate  standardised fare that is reasonable and beneficial to the masses.