The transport department has roped in consumer associations to help passengers who could be fleeced by auto drivers.

As many as 10 consumer associations in the city have been identified by the department. “We have had discussions with consumer groups on Friday. They will spread awareness and help passengers. Affected passengers who do not want to reveal their identity can tell these consumer organisations. The organisations can withstand pressure,” said Dr. T. Prabhakara Rao, principal secretary and transport commissioner.

In the past 10 days, the helpline set up by the department has received just 52 complaints from passengers. Some of the consumer organisations have alleged that most of the passengers who tried to contact the helpline did not get a proper response from the personnel manning the helpline.

“The helpline for north Chennai is 26744455 and the number for south Chennai is 24749002. But strangers to the city will not know what is north and what is south. We requested the officials to ask the personnel to divert the call to the respective RTO and this request has been accepted. Passengers can now call any of the numbers,” said M.R. Krishnan, deputy director of Consumer Association of India.

Affected passengers can also call 66734346 to seek the help of Consumer Association of India. The transport department will also shortly be announcing a mobile number for sending SMS pertaining to complaints.

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