Autorickshaw drivers’ unions cannot fix fare, says petition by sangham

The AIADMK-affiliated Anna Auto Ootunar Thozhilalar Sangam said on Monday that if the government were to fix the minimum fare at Rs. 25 for the first 1.5km and Rs. 12 for every km thereafter, its members were ready to comply with the conditions.

The sangam petitioned the district administration complaining that a section of the drivers have unilaterally announced autorickshaw fare, without waiting for the State Government’s announcement.

The drivers submitted the petition at the weekly grievances redress meeting.

They said that after the State Government had successfully implemented metered fare system in Chennai, announced the introduction of GPRS tracking facility and electronic billing, and promised extension of a similar system in other parts of the State, leaders of a few autorickshaw drivers’ unions have decided to collect a minimum fare of Rs. 30, and Rs. 15 for every additional km from January 1.

They had announced fare charts would be distributed.

The move was aimed at bringing disrepute to the government and harassing the passengers.

The drivers’ union was opposed to the unilateral announcement and deemed it illegal.

If the drivers were to charge fare without the government’s permission, it could lead to serious problems between the passengers and the drivers.

To prevent the illegal, arbitrary fixation of fare, the district administration should intervene in the matter to ensure that the rule of law prevailed and that passengers were spared of harassment from autorickshaw drivers.

Bus service needed

Residents of No. 2 Gudalur Kavundampalayam, near Naickenpalayam, led by the town panchayat head K. Muthusamy, on Monday petitioned the district administration seeking restoration of bus service.

The petition said that the mini bus service that the district administration provided about seven years ago was cut short after a land owner objected to the running of bus on his land. The administration had first provided bus service after the then District Revenue Officer and Regional Transport Officer had visited their village for a spot assessment following a petition submitted seven years ago.

The mini bus service was from Naickenpalayam to Anna Nagar. But now the service was cut short and the bus did not reach the village.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation operated only two services — one in the morning and another in the evening, which was grossly inadequate to meet the needs of students, workers, and the residents. The requirement was for at least eight services a day, the petition said.

PDS outlet

Residents of Chokkampudur on Monday petitioned the district administration opposing the shifting of a public distribution system outlet from the area.

The residents said that the shop operated by the Harijan Cooperative Store had been functioning in the area for the last 40 years. With the shifting of the shop, hundreds of residents were put to hardships, they said.

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