Meters not calibrated, autos fleece commuters

Meters not calibrated, autos fleece commuters

Given three months time to calibrate their meters to new fare, City’s auto drivers are merrily making a kill, while hapless commuters are fleeced being made to cough up fancy fares to ferry them to their destinations. 

Commuting, according to aggrieved travellers, having no choice but take auto as their preferred mode of transport, has become a nightmare with over-charging by auto drivers to hit paydirt, when time is still on their side. 

While dutiful among auto drivers’ ilk have recalibrated their meters, a considerable lot of over 1.1 lakh autorickshaws that ply in the City are yet to do the necessary with the deadline still a good month away. 

The end result: commuters being overcharged leading to frayed tempers, furious arguments, and deluge of complaints flooding the RTOs.  The hike in minimum fare from Rs 20 to Rs 25 for 1.9 km came into effect on December 20, 2013. Auto drivers were given three months’ time to get their meters calibrated. Compounding commuters’ plight is the absence of certified rate card which auto drivers are mandated to carry till the meters are reset. RTO officials though see nothing askance in the auto drivers’ unethical practice but justify the time given for auto drivers to comply with the department’s diktat.

Quipped a RTO official: “The city has about 1.1 lakh autorickshaws. How do you expect them to get their meters calibrated within a month. The process takes time as they (auto drivers) also have to get them tested and certified at the weights and measures department.”

Easier said than ensure implementation is being done as stipulated. 

Ask those at the receiving end of the auto drivers to accede to this facile, futile argument. Says Rupali, a regular commuter by auto: 

“The government should not have given so much time for calibration of meters, as, it is we, customers who end up paying excess fares demanded by the auto drivers.”

Concurring, another daily commuter Sohail, fed with the auto woes, said: “At times when I am rushing for work, its not possible to get into an argument, so I have to pay what the driver demands even if it is not justified. The department concerned should do checks on auto drivers to find out if they carry certify rate card or not.” 

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