Drivers to charge as per revised tariffs; railway police to oversee operations

Last month, when Deepa Narayanan of Delhi arrived at Chennai Central, she headed to the prepaid autorickshaw counter only to find it closed.

“I was forced to hail an autorickshaw from outside the station and ended up paying Rs. 300 to get to Adyar,” she said.

The prepaid counter that was closed on July 24, to facilitate Metro Rail work in the area, resumed operations on Thursday noon, under the supervision of R. Sekar, ADGP, Government Railway Police (GRP).

Autorickshaws at the counter have been fitted with recalibrated meters and the drivers have been told to charge as per the new tariff announced by the government.

Within a few hours of the counter opening on Thursday, nearly 250 passengers booked the prepaid vehicles.

“Many passengers prefer our service. We have distributed uniforms and badges to about 350 drivers registered with us. They have been instructed to strictly comply with the new tariffs,” said a staff member from the Central Auto Drivers Welfare Association that runs the facility.

GRP personnel will keep watch to ensure passengers are not ill treated.

“We will ensure drivers at the prepaid counter follow the new fares. If anybody overcharges, it can be brought to the notice of police personnel on the station premises,” said a GRP officer.

Parking woes

Autorickshaw drivers at the station complained of inadequate parking space. “If there is continuous movement of autorickshaws, then there is no problem. But if the trains are late, the vehicles have to wait. There is space for just 50 autorickshaws inside the station. The rest have to queue up on the road and this results in traffic snarls,” said a traffic police officer.

He said the Railways should ensure there is enough parking space for autorickshaws on the premises. “Prepaid counters are beneficial to passengers. The Railways should provide adequate waiting space to these autorickshaws,” said the officer.

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