Old data puts prepaid auto, taxi service on hold

Project in limbo as traffic cops fail to update new locations

The much-awaited compulsory pre-paid auto and taxi service in New Delhi railway station has failed to start due to lack of updated data at the traffic police’s prepaid booth.

Six months ago, railway officials had announced the project to prevent passengers from being fleeced by autorickshaw and taxi drivers at the station. The project aims to make all regular taxis and autorickshaws, excluding radio taxis, entering the station to mandatorily operate under the prepaid service run by the traffic police.

But the project failed to start as the data of locations of the prepaid booth operated by traffic police have not been updated. The records need to be refreshed before launching the service as the city has spread in all directions, but the new locations have not been updated accordingly.

“All infrastructure related to the project is ready. Dedicated auto and taxi lanes in the circulating area of the station on Ajmeri Gate side is ready. But the service is not being launched as the data of prepaid booth is yet to be updated,” said divisional railway manager (Delhi) Anurag Sachan.

“I have instructed the officials concerned to fix a meeting with traffic police officials for the purpose,” he added.

Autorickshaw drivers also complained that they have to suffer losses as they are forced to drop passengers at places that are not in the records.

“The prepaid staff often issues slip to certain locations without even knowing the exact distance. There are several colonies that the commuters say are closer to well-known colonies. But when we reach the destination, we find the place to be far from the said location. The data needs to be updated in any case,” said Rajendra Soni, autorickshaw drivers’ union leader.

Traffic police officials said they will update it soon. “The records at the prepaid booth will be updated on a priority basis,” said additional commissioner of police (traffic) Anil Shukla. But sources in the traffic police said work on the project is likely to take some time as it has not been started yet.

The service will also have an option for autorickshaw and taxi drivers to not follow the prepaid rule.

But there is a catch — they will not be allowed to pick up passengers from the station’s premises.

A dedicated lane will be provided for such drivers to drop passengers and leave the station.

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