The “AUTO-cratic” rule in Belgaum seems to be never ending. People who once traveled with their parents and who now travel with their grandsons always have a fear of sitting in an auto in Belgaum, because you never know what you will be charged.
We have hardly seen the autos plying by the fare meter, to make things worse out of the 5000+ autos in town only 60-70% are registered. All the autos have a working meter while the yearly inspection is on at the RTO, once they come out of the RTO the meter is removed or is disabled.
No one in Belgaum has ever tried to out break this Auto-cracy. Which is very strange.
Take the prepaid auto booth set up in December 2010, by the then Deputy Commissioner M.E. Shivalingmurthy. A prepaid auto booth was installed inside the railway station premises so that it will help the passengers. But that has never been the case.
CPI Traffic police Belgaum replied to the blog post saying that, “Auto pre-paid is being run by Railway department by the Railway Police and its their jurisdiction and men in white working near railway station are not traffic police they are all railway police men.”
When the blog contacted the Railway police we got a reply that yes it does come under our purview but as the Fare prices are not updated by the RTO we cannot control the situation.
The Auto drivers association has a fixed answer when asked about why they dont charge by meter. Autorickshaw drivers have never opposed the introduction of fare meters. But the authorities had not stopped transporters from operating Tempos, “mini-doors” and maxi cabs in the city in violation of the rules. One more reason they always add is bad roads and more money is spent on maintenance.
In some cases hearing to PILs the court by themselves have taken cognizance of such a plight of the commuters and “ Taking note of it, the two-judge bench of the Orrisa High court of Justice B.P. Das and Justice M.M. Das issued directions for introduction of pre-paid auto-rickshaw service at the Cuttack railway station and Badambadi bus stand.”
Current (May 2011) Auto Fares in Bangalore:
Minimum Fare: Rs.17 for first 2Kms
Fare above Minimum Fare: Rs.9 per Km
Night Fare: Extra 50% from 11pm to 5am
Waiting Charges: Rs30/hour (minimum 10 minutes are charged)
Minimum Fare: Rs.11 for first Km.
Fare above Minimum Fare: Rs9 per Km
Some questions which need to be answered by the Administration:
Why cant the Belgaum traffic police have its own persons as they are in other cities who assist the entire process.(In cities like Pune Deputy commissioner of police (traffic) has put special cell for this).
If there is a rule of fare price being charged by the Autos all over which is fixed by the Regional transport authority, then why the same is not implemented.
What is the reason behind the police not taking any serious action against these Autos like they do on regular two wheelers or four wheelers?
Why cant the Traffic police check for the auto meter, whether it is working or no?
If any one has to complain where can one complain?(we could not find a helpline number)
Some questions which need to be answered by the Autorikshaw wallas:
If you can fix meters while getting the passing done at RTO why cant you continue the same and is this not illegal then?
Is it that only your vehicles get a hit due to bad roads, other commuters also face the same problem?
Why cant you(Autos), district administration and the citizens come together and make a fare list. (by law the regional transport authority will have already done one)
Some questions which need to be answered by the citizens:
Do we really need to pay the fare the Auto driver asks for?(normally yes, because if they had other modes of communication why would they go in for an auto)
Boycotting of Autos for a day etc will this have any impact on the Auto drivers?
Is there atleast anything we could do to have a fare ride in the Auto?
What do we want a ride in the Auto with a FARE price, are we wrong?
All readers are requested to share their experiences and this blog is read by the Traffic police we will try and raise this issue with them.