Counter to be run by MATA; 400 autorickshaws to operate at railway station

Prepaid autorickshaw counters were reopened at the Mangalore Central Railway Station and KSRTC bus-stand at Bejai from Sunday. This time they would be managed by Mangalore Association of Travel Agents (MATA).

N. S. Channappa Gowda, Deputy Commissioner and Chairman, Regional Transport Authority, Dakshina Kannada, told presspersons here on Sunday that MATA would collect Rs. 1 per slip issued to passengers in addition to the prepaid travel fares fixed by the RTA.

He said the RTA had prepared fare chart for different destinations. The MATA had been directed to display the same in the counters.

Mr. Gowda said drivers of autorickshaws would have to turn on the fare meters from the two starting points (bus-stand and the railway station) till reaching the destination for which he or she had paid the fare in advance (call it the prepaid destination). If a passenger wanted to continue the travel, he or she should pay the balance amount as shown in the metre after reaching the desired destination. But the drivers were not supposed to turn on the metres afresh from the prepaid destination and claim the balance fare on that basis after reaching the final destination.

The Deputy Commissioner said the drivers could collect fares one-and-a-half times' excess of the actual fare displayed in the meters in the city corporation limits between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. They could collect the excess fare from passengers round-the-clock if an autorickshaw was hired beyond the corporation limits.

Mr. Gowda said manual prepaid receipts would be issued to passengers for 15 days. Computerised receipts would be issued later. The prepaid facility at Mangalore Junction Railway Station would be opened after a fortnight.

Complaints

The Regional Transport Officer of Mangalore C. Mallikarjuna said if there were complaints, people could call the RTO office on 2220577. The RTO officials would attend to the complaints beyond office hours, might be early mornings or late evenings, he said.

In addition, people could call the police on 100. Mr. Mallikarjuna said that the counter at the KSRTC bus-stand would be opened from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The counter at the railway station would be ready whenever trains arrived at the station.

He said the prepaid autorickshaw committee comprising representatives of Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), unions of autorickshaw drivers, MATA, and RTA would meet and review issues if any and resolve them.

The intention of the committee was that the facility reintroduced should not be stopped for any reason. It should continue by resolving issues amicably, he said.

Passengers need not pay any luggage charge up to 20 kg. Thereafter, one had to pay Rs. 2 as charge for every 20 kg, he said.

Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh, Superintendent of Police Dakshina Kannada Labhu Ram, and president of KCCI Latha R. Kini were present.

President of MATA Roshan Pinto told The Hindu that 400 autorickshaws operated under the prepaid facility at the railway station between 9 a.m. and 6.30 p.m.

At the bus-stand, 100 autorickshaws operated under the facility during the same period.