Auto fares too low, complain drivers in Millennium City

Drivers call for increasing the minimum fare in Haryana.   | Photo Credit: DEL27 auto

Narender Kumar Shukla has been running an autorickshaw in the Millennium City for the past 15 years. He finally got a meter installed on his vehicle two days ago.

Though elated that he now need not argue with passengers over fare, the 47-year-old feels that the fare decided by the administration is too low compared to Delhi where the CNG rates too are significantly less.

Win-win situation

“The installation of meters is a win-win situation for both the driver and the passenger. Passengers feel that autorickshaw drivers always overcharge, but now they will be happy to pay as per the fare shown in the meter. The drivers too need not argue over fare,” said Mr. Shukla, who claimed that it took him three days to get the meter installed.

“The meter was installed on Tuesday, but it wasn’t working. I came on Wednesday, but the staffer did not turn up. So I came again the next day to get it fixed,” said Mr. Shukla, standing with fellow autorickshaw drivers at an open ground near Maharana Pratap Swaran Jayanti Park in Sector 29.

Meter installation

He said that the authorities charged ₹2,950 for meter installation and another ₹50 for fixing a “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” sticker on his autorickshaw. He, however, feels that the rates fixed by the authorities are too low compared to Delhi and that too with the CNG rates in Haryana are higher.

Gautam, another driver, added that the fare for the first 1km was ₹25 in Delhi, whereas it was only ₹12 in Gurugram. “The CNG is ₹10 per unit costlier in Gurugram. Besides, there are fewer passengers in Gurugram compared to Delhi, which has several railway stations, metro stations and shopping malls,” said Ratan.

Chhote Lal, another auto driver, got meter installed on February 3, but said that the passengers did not prefer to pay according to the meter.

Haryana Auto Chalak Sangathan State president Mahavir Singh demanded that the process of meter installation should be put on hold for a few months since the auto drivers were already struggling to make both ends meet as an aftermath of lockdown and the installation charges were an additional financial burden on them.

Call to put it on hold

“Things are still far from normal and an autorickshaw driver hardly manages to earn ₹300-400 per day. In this situation, the installation charge of ₹3,000 is an additional burden on them. Besides, the installation rates are higher in Gurugram than Delhi,” said Mr. Singh. He also reiterated the demand to increase the minimum fare and bring it at par with Delhi.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 10:13:24 PM |

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