Majority autos in city continue to take passengers for a ride

Only 9,000 against 21,000 autos have re-calibrated meters

It was in the first week of January this year that the minimum fare for passenger autorickshaw was revised to Rs 25.

Still, a majority of the autorickshaws are yet to re-calibrate in accordance with the change in fares. The passengers continue to be taken for a ride by auto drivers, who are blatantly violating norms by operating with tampered meters.

According to sources in the Department of Legal Metrology, Mysuru, the office had recalibrated 9,000 odd autorickshaws till December, and the process was still on.

New meters costing Rs 100 to Rs 150 fitted by authorised repairers is later certified by the department with a separate code number. The meters are stamped annually.
However, when compared to the statistics available with the police, according to whom there are 21,000 autos plying in the city, it seems like an uphill task for the department to reach the target, given the fact that two to three new autos hit the roads every day.

Strangely, the target per year is fixed at 250 cases, and the fine is in the range of Rs 500 to Rs 4,000, depending on the severity of the violation. It is only in the case of repeat offences, the case is referred to court.

ACP (Traffic) Prabhakar Bharki said there are 21,000 odd autorickshaws in the city alone, according to the security numbers issued to the three wheelers. In an attempt to incorporate safety measures in the interest of passengers, the city police introduced exclusive numbers for the autos three years ago.

The numbers were issued on the basis of residential areas of the owners, under Krishnaraja sub-division, Narasimharaja sub-division and Devaraja sub-division. The numbers are pasted on the autos. The details of owner, driver, DL and also the residential address of the owner, are seeded along with the numbers issued.

The official admitted that his office was receiving complaints against high fares being demanded, especially at the transit locations like railway stand and bus stands. “The Legal Metrology officials have been informed about it,” he said.

Following the differences in numbers, a question arises over the remaining autos. According to the officials in both the Police and Legal Metrology departments, there are ‘line’ autos or ‘shared’ autos operating within the localities, especially during night hours. The fare is set in case of such autos. For example, in shared autos, one can travel from Hardinge Circle to Teresian College at Rs 10.

Whenever the competent authorities intercept such autos, there have been several instances where the passengers have to the rescue of the drivers. Some other autos are restricted to pick and drop services, especially school and college going students.

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