Autorickshaw drivers in Thrikkakara launched an impromptu protest after police officers stopped an autorickshaw for checking on Wednesday morning.

The police officers checked whether meter was running in the vehicle and advised the passenger to pay only the fare prescribed by law. Other autorickshaw drivers in the area soon gathered to protest against what they termed was police ‘harassment.’ They argued that vehicles running in municipality areas were allowed to charge more than the meter fare by law. The gathering of autorickshaw drivers created traffic block in the region for a while. Police officers soon broke up the gathering.

Representatives of the autorickshaw drivers’ union later met Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner of Police Bijo Alexander to discuss the issue.

“Autorickshaw drivers in the municipality area cannot charge excess fare as they want. As per rules, they are allowed to charge an additional 50 per cent of the difference between the meter fare and minimum charge in municipality limits. They cannot charge more than that,” Mr. Alexander said.

Police officers said a board explaining the fare rules would be put up in union buildings. The drive to enforce fare rules in autorickshaws in the city corporation and surrounding municipalities would continue in the coming days, Mr. Alexander said.

The police said fine for not operating auto fare meter was collected from more than 1,670 autorickshaw drivers since the special police drive to enfore meter rule began to more than a week ago.

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