New system will come into effect from December 10
The Davangere district administration has set December 9 as the deadline for installing meters on autorickshaws, and said that from December 10, passengers should be charged the meter fare.
Chairing a special meeting of officials and autorickshaw drivers here on Wednesday, S.S. Pattanashetty, Deputy Commissioner, said the minimum fare had been fixed at Rs.18 for the first 2 km and Rs. 9 for every km after that.
After holding discussions with Superintendent of Police Labhu Ram and Regional Transport Officer H.J. Thembad, Mr. Pattanashetty said that autorickshaw drivers could collect one-and-a-half fare between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Passengers carrying 20 kg goods need not be charged, but for the next 20 kg, Rs. 3 could be collected.
Autorickshaw drivers have opposed the minimum fare of Rs. 18, saying that in Shimoga and other places the minimum fare was Rs. 20 for the first 2km. They demanded that the minimum fare be fixed at Rs. 20.
They said that since the cost of operation was high, it would be difficult for them to settle for a minimum fare of Rs. 18.
Mr. Thembad said that since the minimum fare was Rs. 18 in Chitradurga and other places, he suggested that the same rate be followed in Davangere as well.
Mr. Pattanashetty said passengers would be burdened if the minimum fare was fixed at over Rs. 18.
He added that drivers would be able to earn a “decent profit” even at this rate [Rs. 18]. Despite opposition, Mr. Pattanashetty stuck to the decision.
Mr. Pattanashetty told drivers to calibrate their meters by December 10. He also cautioned drivers and owners against using cooking gas to run their vehicles.
Mr. Ram said he had received complaints that autorickshaw drivers had demanded abnormal fares from passengers and were refusing to go to certain destinations. He provided numbers (9480803253, 9480803271 and 08192-259238) which passengers could dial to register complaints.