As India gears up to celebrate its 70th Independence Day, it’s time we take a look at the most serious and unattended issue of the city, the AutoCracy of the Autorikshaws.
Infact a few say that we could begin the story with, From time immemorial this problem persists; yes to be precise not even once have we seen the Autos charging fares as per meter after independence.
The city of Belagavi which has very uniques to its credit also has this unique to it that may it be any officer KAS, IAS or Congress, JD, JDS or the MES, no one has ever tried to address this grave issue of public transport of autos.
We were under the colonial rule for decades and currently Belagavi is under AutoCratic rule one can say.
For years now each one and even AAB in its past 10 years has spoken about this issue but with no result. Actually one does not really know as to how a Rule which is applicable to the whole country (motor vehicles act) with some amendments in each state is not applicable or made applicable in Belagavi.
Our dearest RTO which issues permits to these Auto’s does not know the exact number of Autos it has given permits. The police who want to act seeing the public outrage, act but limited powers and the one phone call from the TOP person in power stops the entire campaign.
Ask the elders in your family and they would tell you about the Dammni’s running on the streets or the bullock carts, those were golden days they would tell. Then those public transport systems did not fixed fare but each one was happy giving and the other side taking it.
In today’s scenario ask anyone who paid for an Auto, he is not happy as he knows he paid more than what is prescribed by law. And on the other side the Auto drivers are also not happy even after charging more than the prescribed fare; as they have their own demands.
It becomes a front page story if some auto driver charges as the fare prescribed and that person should be awarded atleast a Padamshree award if not a Bharat Ratna.
Now the minimum Fare in some cases has gone upto 50 it seems. One cant stop but laugh at this.
The only way to get freedom from this AutoCracy is to use alternatives such as OLA which are working in Belagavi but in a limited number.
In those days it was our Grandparents or parents who fought for the nation’s independence, and now it is on our shoulders to stand together and get rid of this AutoCracy.
The coming generations must feel proud that we were able to break this AutoCracy of the Autorikshaws.
So come together take a vow
I wont sit in an Auto if the meter is Not down
I wont pay the Auto Driver more fare than the Prescribed
If need be, I will walk, but not take an Auto
I will try and make use of other Public transport
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.