Saturday, September 17, 2011

Authorities fail to install meters for auto rickshaws in Srinagar, flouting public money on temporary solutions


SRINAGAR, SEPTEMBER 18: With authorities failing to get fare meters installed in the three wheelers in Srinagar City, the Traffic police finally evolved a concept of rate lists, claming that this will keeping the travel charges under control, but the big question is that does it really bring irked auto drivers under control and curb over charging.

The rate list introduced by the traffic police has created confusion and chaos among passengers and drivers. High-pitched arguments between passengers and auto-rickshaw drivers have become order of day in capital city Srinagar.

“The drivers are charging the people more than double than the normal fare. Taking passengers on raid auto-rickshaw drivers in Srinagar are notorious for exploiting any situation, heavy rains or strikes for their advantage. Though the authorities have issued special permits to these auto rickshaw drivers, they have failed to implement meter system and even at least they have failed to execute the already fixed fare list for drivers few months ago, which are burdening the common lot. Ironically the passengers are not eve aware about the fixed fare list due to lack of awareness initiatives, said group of passengers here in Srinagar city. Many believes that the overcharging won’t come to an end until meter system will be implemented like elsewhere in country which is the best way of keeping fare under control.

Passengers alleged that after facing failure in already released rate list, the men-in-blue again distributes few days ago laminated fare list cards among the auto-rickshaws drivers. They have been asked to keep the fare cards visible for passenger access.” According to the directives issued by traffic police city in case of complaints, the helpline numbers are also mentioned therein as 2450022, 2455164 and 2455179. The cards have rate lists of some of the common routes and fare charges have been accordingly fixed in consolation with the Transport Commissioner and other concerned authorities.

The auto-drivers again refuses to adhere to the fixed rates and demands now for the meter installation. “How we can obey the rate list as there are just few spots mentioned in the list. How e can justify the rates to the passenger. There should be an appropriate installation of meter system in the city which can make ease for both passengers as well as auto-rickshaw drivers,” said an auto rickshaw driver.

SSP Traffic Srinagar Maqsood-u- Zaman said police has tried to make the system foolproof but he said that the rate list is a temporary solution and meters must be installed. He said that each rate card have been published at the rate of 15 rupees and sold to auto driver at the rate of 10 rupees.

The question arises if it is a temporary solution the why the concern authorities are flouting away the public money for such temporary solutions which can’t even ease the common public on ground level. It is being viewed that these kind of temporary rules have irked passenger and auto rickshaw drivers also and public is facing the brunt of irked authorities who seem in deep slumber despite traffic mess and mismanagement in city. “There is a meter system across country which the authorities have failed in Srinagar city, said a passenger, Adil Mushtaq.

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