To ensure the convenience and safety of passengers who commute by autorickshaws within Shivamogga city, the police have launched a mobile application called ‘Auto Mitra’.
Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare told presspersons on Tuesday that in the wake of complaints of some autorickshaw drivers misbehaving with commuters and showing reluctance to charge as per the fare meter, the authorities have decided to closely monitor the operation of autorickshaws. The app was launched as part of this initiative.
Mr. Khare said around 3,400 autorickshaws ply in the city. In the initial stage, a meeting of drivers was convened and they were briefed on the measures the department would take to ensure passenger safety. The department has issued digital ID cards to all drivers. The card has the driver’s personal information, photograph, vehicle number, driving license number, and the contact number of the police stations. It has been made mandatory to display the digital identity card in the autorickshaws.
Commuters can download the Auto Mitra app from Google Play Store on the Android platform. They can access the driver’s information by scanning the QR code printed on the ID card and can lodge complaints with the police on problems related to rash driving, collecting exorbitant fares, and misbehaving with passengers. On the homepage, the information on the status of their complaint and the action taken will be displayed.
The app has an option for the user to send an SOS to relatives or friends during emergencies and to share their location and vehicle number. Mr. Khare said the police are also seizing autorickshaws that are plying without digital ID cards. The drivers against whom complaints are lodged repeatedly will be blacklisted and the Regional Transport Authority will be recommended to cancel their driving licence and other statutory permissions issued, he said.
Commuters who do not know how to use smartphones may lodge complaints with the police by accessing the personal information of the driver printed on the digital ID card, Mr. Khare said.