One to start near Gandhi Park before Pongala
A new prepaid autorickshaw stand will start serving the people of the city in a couple of weeks from near Gandhi Park at East Fort.
The Gandhi Park stand, to come up before the Attukal Pongala festival, will be among 10 proposed prepaid stands that will come up in the city Corporation area and be monitored by the city police.
City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan said increasing the number of prepaid auto stands was one of the priority activities for the city police this year.
The idea of prepaid auto stands, jointly implemented by the Corporation and the city police, has been quite successful in the city, where there are tales galore of passengers being taken for a ride in the absence of any monitoring system or fixed tariffs.
There are four stands functioning in the city as of now, two of them at Thampanoor — at the Central railway station and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus-station; one near the Medical College; and one at the Pettah railway station.
P. Mohanan, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic (South), said that after the stand near Gandhi Park came up, efforts would be made to set up another near General Hospital.At General Hospital
The demand for a stand at General Hospital was long-standing, but the availability of land had been a stumbling block. The issue had been taken up with the Health Minister for discussion with the Health Department, he said.
Another prepaid stand would start functioning soon near Technopark, with the Kazhakuttam police to monitor it. This too followed high demand, mostly from techies. A stand was on the anvil near the Kochuveli railway station as well, Mr. Mohanan said.
P. Bijoy, Assistant Commissioner (Control Room), said that the prepaid auto stands, particularly the one at the Pettah railway station, were turning out to be not only successes, but also a major relief to the people. In the days before the stand came up, even police personnel used to find it difficult to get transport if they got down at the Pettah station at night.
“Now we are insisting that the autorickshaws designated to operate from the prepaid stand be present on the station premises at night as well, in tune with the train timings,” Mr. Bijoy said.
Pointing out that space was the only constraint for the prepaid stand sites proposed by the Corporation, Mr. Bijoy said the stands were another mode of security for late-night passengers, with round-the-clock presence of a policeman in the area.