Not allowed, say Transport Dept. officials
A meeting of the autorickshaw workers’ unions convened by the CITU affiliated Coimbatore District Autorickshaw Workers Union has resolved to operate autorickshaws by meter fare decided by the unions with effect from January 1.
The State Government recently fixed meter fare for autorickshaws in Chennai.
The rates were a minimum fare of Rs. 25 for the first 1.8 km and Rs.12 for every additional km.
As soon as the rates were announced, the autorickshaw unions in Coimbatore declared that the fare for Chennai was not feasible for Coimbatore.
They said that Chennai was a vast city with a huge population. The unions demanded a minimum fare of Rs. 30 and Rs. 15 for every additional km.
The district administration conducted a meeting to discuss the fare and a report was sent to the State Government.
Meanwhile, the CITU affiliated Union conducted a meeting of the autorickshaw workers federation on Saturday.
General secretary of the CITU affiliated Union P.K. Sugumaran said that despite repeated representations to the State Government and the district administration for fixing a reasonable auto fare, there had not been any announcements so far. Hence, conceding the demands of the autorickshaw workers, the Unions have decided to ply by the meter fare decided by them.
Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause (CCC) K. Kathirmathiyon said that the decision of the autorickshaw workers unions was condemnable and opposed the same.
“They cannot take law into their hands and fix fares of their convenience,” he said.
Officials in the Transport Department pointed out that legally autorickshaw unions cannot fix fares on their own.
District Collector Archana Patnaik told The Hindu that a proposal pointing out the request for altered fare (compared to Chennai fare structure) has been sent to the Government and it was under consideration at the highest level.