No respite from 'double meter' as authorities pass the buck

PCR vans can curb menace outside railway stations at rush hours: Police Commissioner

Common man’s plea

Speaking to Deccan Herald, a ‘victim’ complained that he was asked to shell out a sum of Rs 200 just to travel a mere distance of 3 km from the Central Railway Station late in the night. “When I asked the auto driver to put the meter, he simply drove off saying, find your own way,” he said and added that it usually takes less than Rs 60 to reach his destination, if the meter was put lawfully.

Union stand

“We have warned the autorickshaw drivers. The RTO and police authorities should implement strict rules. In case the prepaid autorickshaw system is implemented in Railway Stations and KSRTC, it will help to get down this menace,” says Federation of Karnataka Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union (FKARDU) General Secretary L T Suvarna.

DC speaks

The hiked tariff and pre paid auto issue has already been discussed in Road Safety Committee meeting, says DC Subodh Yadav who is also the President of Regional Transport Authority (RTA).

The prepaid auto system needs an initial investment. Private associations can come forward to sponsor the prepaid system.

Initially, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) had showed interest for this initiative, he says and adds that fruitful progress has not yet taken place and the district administration is working to take care of the issue.

KCCI supports

“The Palghat Divisional Railway Manger has told that only police authorities can take responsibility of the prepaid auto counters outside the railway station. In such a case, how can we intervene? KCCI is willing to extend support to the Police and Railway authorities if they are ready,” says KCCI President G G Mohandas Prabhu.

Station manager replies

“The implementation of the prepaid auto system has to be decided by the Police Commissionerate along with the RTO. The police will take action if a person complains of harassment from the auto drivers,” says Mangalore Central Station Manager Neeliath Chandran.

Cops in action

“We have put PCR vans at rush hours in the Central and Kankanady railway stations to prevent the auto drivers from hiking their fare. In case a rickshaw driver demands more fare or denies in performing his duty, a complaint can be registered in the police station with details such as the rickshaw number, place of incident and time. We can book a case against the driver and also recommend to the RTO to cancel his license,” says Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh.

He further adds that the Commissionerate does not have separate funds allotted to start a prepaid auto system.

“We can always take lead in implementing the system but an economical backing is needed,” he adds.

It is necessary that the Railway authorities, Police, RTO and District Administration get together and chalk things out, says Singh.

RTO’s measures

In case an auto driver hikes his tariff or denies taking a passenger to his destination, a complaint can be filed in the RTO office with the rickshaw number, time and place of incident.

The owner will be sent notice and action will be taken if the charges are true. The public can call the RTO office on 2220577, said RTO In-charge and RTA Secretary Seva Nayak.

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