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Updated: November 14, 2013 12:03 IST
meter watch

Many auto meters stay off: Chennai residents

    P. Oppili
    Vivek Narayanan
Comment (7)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Passengers complain that fleecing is more rampant in the vicinity of shopping malls and the Chennai Central railway station. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan
The Hindu
Passengers complain that fleecing is more rampant in the vicinity of shopping malls and the Chennai Central railway station. Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

With deadline for recalibrated meters barely a day away, complaints continue

With the government-set deadline to recalibrate autorickshaw meters barely a day away, complaints are still pouring in from residents that several autorickshaws are plying without operating the meters, despite having new ones.

Transport department officials said they were aware of the many complaints from residents in various parts of the city. Since the formation of a joint committee nearly two months ago, the offices of the joint transport commissioner, south and north, have received 1,830 complaints regarding autorickshaw drivers demanding excess fares.

Passengers complain that fleecing is more rampant in the vicinity of shopping malls and the Chennai Central railway station.

“They bargain and refuse to turn on the meters. The drivers demand a minimum of Rs. 100 for a distance of three kilometres against the actual fare of approximately Rs. 40,” said L. Seshasayee, a commuter bargaining with a driver in front of a mall in Royapettah.

S. Amudha, who travels from Royapettah to Chintradripet every day, said on most occasions, autorickshaw drivers refused to operate the meters. “Once, a driver demanded Rs. 120 and when I confronted him, he cited the escalating fuel prices and drove away,” she said.

Explaining the process of handling a complaint, a senior transport department official said once they received a complaint with specific details such as registration number, it was forwarded to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) concerned for further action. The RTO then sends a notice to the driver/owner of vehicle, asking for an explanation.

Another official said after the deadline, a stringent drive would be conducted against those drivers refusing to operate the meters. At present, due to intervention from the unions, officials were unable to take action, he said.

In August, the State government announced a revised fare system for autorickshaws. The drivers are supposed to charge Rs. 25 for the first 1.8 kilometres and Rs. 12 for every additional kilometre. The deadline for recalibrating the meters was October 15 initially, but was extended by a month after autorickshaw unions protested, demanding more time.

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from:  K.V.Narayanan
Posted on: Nov 15, 2013 at 04:21 IST

The government should stamp this anti-social act out with an iron fist and stern action. The public needs a break!!!

from:  Gopalan Kannan
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 19:15 IST

Fixing the meter is one problem, using it is another.

It is sad to observe that most auto drivers resort to verbal and
sometimes physical violence when we demand the meter to be used.

Bringing this initiative of fixing the meter is laudable, it would be
meaningful only when they accept and use the meter.

from:  Arun
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 18:56 IST

We must not forget that we are in contemporary India, where all systems are made to be void in due course and duly confined to dustbin without the mandatory follow-up for implementation. As we have heard from many quarters, that many autos, share-autos, taxis, call-taxies, oil tankers etc. are mostly run under benami names while actually owned by the top-brass such as; Bureacrats including police officers and political bosses. So, How any system could survive, in the absence of momentum towards implementation? Better to scrap the rules for goodness-sake, at least then, people will not have mental-agony on day-to-day basis with such violaters throughout India.

from:  Haja Abu Bucker
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 17:45 IST

if auto drivers are united in opposing the govt rules re proper maintenance of meters and correct fare,passengers should form a union of autousers .passengers should boycot autos on sundays tom protest ahainst auto drivers who behave rudelythis is the last chance for chennai to get its auto businessin order.

from:  rqajaiyer
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 13:01 IST

The situation is noway better than what it was before fixing meter rates.Out of 10 auto drivers, only 2 drivers are willing to switch on the meter after much persuasion and argument which shows Government machinery totally ineffective in taking action on erring autos. This clearly proves both police and transport officials are culprits who are callous in their duties or they are hand in glove with auto unions. They should set up booths exclusively for registering auto complaints in railway stations airport Big Malls,shopping centers and other crowded public places.The Chief Minister should personally intervene and correct the situation or Advocate Mr. Ramamurthy - whose initiative Supreme Court passed orders for fixing rates- should file fresh application in Supreme Court to pass strictures on TN Government for not fully implementing its order in letter and spirit

from:  S.Seshadri
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 11:32 IST

My suggestion is that the Govt can run a MTC kind of Corporation by including genuine autos, Tata Magic vans into its fleet. It can be worked upon as Revenue Sharing Mode on a daily basis or on a monthly salary. The business model of 'Namma Auto' can be the guidance for the Government to start a Corporation which includes autos and Tata Magic vans in their fleet, strictly functioning only with meters. This may also be used as the last mile connectivity mode when the Metro project gets ready. At least a pilot project would boost the morale of the Chennai people.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Nov 14, 2013 at 10:51 IST
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