Auto drivers making a killing

Auto drivers making a killing
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Highlights

In what can be termed a free-for-all, autorickshaws, including shared autos, are making hay, literally thanks to the ongoing TSRTC strike. The Rathifile bus station is one of the busiest areas in the city, from where one can commute anywhere across the city.

Secunderabad: In what can be termed a free-for-all, autorickshaws, including shared autos, are making hay, literally thanks to the ongoing TSRTC strike. The Rathifile bus station is one of the busiest areas in the city, from where one can commute anywhere across the city.

The bus station is abuzz with activity as the number of passengers increased after the Metro rail station came up. S Sainath, a medical transcriptionist says, "The Metro services start at 5:30 am and one can see shared and private carriers.

They charge as per their whims as people have no alternative." Ramakrishna, a share auto driver, says, "Due to unavailability of buses, we had to increase our price as more passengers are opting for autos. Also, the maintenance and fuel expenses have increased."

On a regular day where the price of a share auto from Rathifile depot to Malkajgiri was Rs 15, it has now been increased up to Rs 20-25. Likewise, the autos hiked fares till ECIL depot. However, earlier for a private auto from Rathifile to Malkajgiri which is 5.2 km distance the drivers charged Rs 60 to 70 now it has increased up to 150 and more depending on the distance.

The drivers are also seen pooling four to five people in one auto to make business. S Sanket, who was waiting for an auto outside the depot, lamented: "I want to go till East Marredpally which is not that far, but the auto drivers are charging Rs 100 for a nearby distance. On a regular day it would be Rs 50."

The same is the case across the city. Rema Menon, a content writer who commutes from Maruti Nagar to Jubilee Hills on a daily basis, says, "My monthy expenditure has gone up ever since the RTC strike started. I now take three shared autos to reach office. On my return, I sometimes book a cab. I sometimes spend close to Rs 250 just to commute."

Raghavan, a software employee, says, "Auto drivers in Hyderabad are notorious for their behaviour. I worked in several cities but nowhere have I seen such attitude. They just do not want to go by metre."

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