Autos run with old meters Fleece passengers
Autos run with old meters Fleece passengers. Out of one lakh autos in the city, only 1,000 autos have gone ahead and completed the recalibration of the digital meters.
Out of one lakh autos, only 1,000 auto meters have been recalibrated
Commuters are irked with fleecing auto drivers who do not even carry the revised fare chart
Out of one lakh autos in the city, only 1,000 autos have gone ahead and completed the recalibration of the digital meters. The authorities had given three months time from February 14 to complete the recalibration. However, with less than two months left, the possibility of recalibration of the meters for all the autos seems a far cry.
In January, after a persistent demand from auto driver unions, the minimum fare for auto-rickshaws in the city was hiked from Rs 16 to Rs 20, and the fare for every subsequent kilometer was increased from Rs 9 to Rs 11. The government then gave a deadline of three months from February 14 to ensure that digital meters were recalibrated. Unfortunately the process for the installation of new meters has been moving at a snail’s pace.
The transport and legal metrology departments were supposed to oversee the recalibration work. The officials responded that there was shortage of equipment until now but the work would be expedited now.
Md Amanullah Khan, senior auto drivers’ union leader, said, “Recent political developments have come in the way. Meters have to be recalibrated but the Transport Commissioner Anantha Ramu, who was supposed to convene a meeting with the weights and measurements department, was transferred in between.”
With the transfer of Anantha Ramu now being stayed, there is a hope that the process would befast tracked. Over 1.2 lakh autos ply in the twin cities and recalibration of meters costs each driver more than Rs 300.
Auto drivers lamented that they were ready to alter the new meter but cited lack of centres for the modification. A Sathi Reddy, member, Auto Driver Unions JAC, said, “There is a need to increase the number of centres from the present two at Singareni Colony and Attapur. In the past, when there was a hike in meter rate, the department had set up additional centres in Nagole and Necklace Road.”
Ravi Teja, an auto driver, added, “We are ready to complete the procedure. It would be easy if a centre is set up at Necklace Road. If some autos do not complete the procedure, all are blamed.”
Meanwhile, commuters complain that auto drivers charge as per their will and most of them do not carry the revised tariff card. Auto drivers have been instructed to carry the new tariff cards until their meters were modified.
Lakshmi, a housewife, says, “None of the auto drivers are ready to show the tariff card. Most of them charge in excess of the authorised fare. We are ready to pay the revised fare but even now we are being fleeced. The RTA authorities need to make sure that the meters are recalibrated soon.”
Malathi, a housewife and resident of Seethaphalmandi, said, “Without the meters we are forced to pay whatever they ask for. Even for a 5 km distance, we are paying more than Rs 100.”
Those who wish to bring errant auto drivers to book can contact Md Amanullah Khan on his mobile number 9392313972.