Vivek joined The Hindu in 2012 and writes about electricity and transport in the city pages. Follow him on Twitter @currentninja... »

Residents said auto drivers in front of malls did not switch on meters

At least 20 calls pertaining to fleecing by autorickshaw drivers were received by the helplines set up by the transport department as of Friday evening. The numbers 044-26744445 and 24749001, originally numbers of the offices of joint commissioners of transport, will also receive complaints pertaining to fleecing by Omni buses.

“Most of the calls were from areas such as T. Nagar, Express Avenue, Velachery and other places where Deepavali shopping is going on,” said an official handling one of the helplines. The calls were forwarded to the concerned Regional Transport Officers. “Action against the autorickshaws will be taken after Deepavali,” said a transport department official.

K. Arivamudhan, who came from Salem to Chennai to celebrate Deepavali with his daughter, said that most autorickshaw drivers in front of shopping malls refused to switch on meters. “We have been mall hopping since morning and also visited T. Nagar. Auto drivers were charging exorbitantly in all these areas,” he said.

85 cases registered

Meanwhile, the transport department registered a total of 85 cases against Omni buses on Thursday in different parts of the city. Nine of these cases were for charging excess fare from passengers. In view of Deepavali, the transport department had started checking Omni buses to ensure that they do not fleece passengers and have proper documents.

Regional transport officers conducted checks in Egmore, Koyambedu and Perungalathur. “We will take strict action against the operators of the nine Omni buses which were found charging excess fares. We collected Rs. 43,000 as fine from the remaining 76 buses, which were seized for various other violations including lack of proper documents,” said a transport department official. Besides, a total of Rs. 96,900 was collected as tax from buses from other States plying in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.

More In: Chennai | News