59 teams crack down on Chennai auto drivers

Teams formed by the transport department will continue to check autorickshaws till September 30. A total of 109 vehicles were impounded on Monday for not carrying the new rate card, fitness certificate and permit — Photo: R. Ravindran  

A day after the deadline for autos to get the new rate cards, the transport department and traffic police on Monday commenced crackdown on errant auto drivers in the city.

Fifty-nine teams were constituted to screen autos without the cards.

“The teams comprised two motor vehicle inspectors, one traffic sub-inspector and one constable each. They checked 3,000 autos in areas such as Thirumangalam, Tondiarpet, Mandaveli, SRP Tools, KK Nagar, Anna Nagar, Poonamallee, Red Hills, Kolathur, Basin Bridge, Vysarpadi, Meenambakkam and Tambaram. A total of 109 vehicles were impounded on Monday,” said T .Prabhakara Rao, principal secretary and transport commissioner.

The distribution of the revised fare cards by officials from regional transport offices (RTOs) began this month. This followed the State government unveiling a new tariff structure, six years after the previous revision of autorickshaw fare. Under the new system, which translated to a more that 75 per cent hike in minimum fare, the fare for the first 1.8 kilometres is Rs. 25 and for every additional kilometre, Rs. 12.

The cards list, according to the number of kilometres travelled, the fare under the old meter system and the corresponding revised fare. Drivers of the 71,000 registered autorickshaws in the city have been instructed to display the laminated cards prominently in their vehicles.

On Monday, each of the 59 teams identified at least 10 auto drivers without fare cards. They were asked to get the cards by the next day. But penal action has been taken only against those who did not have a fitness certificate or permit. “Those vehicles which did not have a permit or fitness certificate were impounded. Passengers should ask the auto driver for a fare card or recalibrated meter before getting into the auto. They should also ask the driver to start the meter,” said Dr. Rao.

He added that the teams would continue to check autorickshaws till September 30.

The deadline for autorickshaws to get recalibrated meters is October 15. There are only 39 meter mechanics in the city and so far, they have been able to recalibrate only 10,000 meters. Meanwhile, auto drivers are required to operate the meter and customers can calculate the new fare using the rate cards.

“A technical committee is studying specifications of the new fare meter with GPS provisions,” said a senior official of the transport department.

Several autorickshaw drivers from different auto stands and cutting across organisations affiliated to different political parties and trade unions have already organised rallies at various localities, urging fellow drivers to abide by the new fare structure.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 1:12:38 PM |

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