Transport Minister A.K. Saseendran has directed the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) authorities to take stern action against those autorickshaws coming to Sabarimala with out obtaining the mandatory permit.

 The Minister was addressing a review meeting in Pampa on Wednesday. He said the registration number of such autorickshaws should be given to the Regional Transport Office concerned for necessary action.

Initially, a fine would imposed on the vehicle owners. The department would also launch an awareness campaign across the State on the need to comply with traffic rules and regulations, he said. Mr. Saseendran said two-wheeler riders without helmets too would be fined under the prevailing law.

The police informed the Minister that a majority of the autorickshaws coming to Sabarimala without permit were from Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts.

Mr. Saseendran said the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, in association with Federal Bank, would install a swiping machine for paying the fare at Pathanamthitta, Nilackal and Pampa.

He said as many as 9,82,514 persons had availed themselves of the KSRTC service during the ongoing pilgrim season as on Wednesday morning.

Prayar Gopalakrishnan, Travancore Devaswom Board president; Anu S. Nair, Additional District Magistrate; Sunil Babu, Safe Zone co-ordinator; and A.R. Premkumar, Pampa Police Special Officer, also attended the meeting.