An auto-rickshaw picks up passengers at Hatia More in Hirapur, Dhanbad, on Sunday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Pay more for your auto rides in Dhanbad from Friday, January 10, but get a slew of benefits in return.
Auto rides in Dhanbad will get pricier by 20 per cent from this week, but you will not feel the pinch, as the journey is likely to get safer, the drivers will strictly adhere to the blue dress code and the autos will stop only at designated halts.
These vital decisions were taken during a meeting at the office of subdivisional officer (SDO) Abhishek Srivastava on Saturday evening.
Auto fares will go up by 20 per cent. At present, the minimum a passenger has to pay is Rs 3. After the Friday hike, the minimum fare will be Rs 5.
Dhanbad district administration will issue a fare chart to all the auto drivers.
SDO Srivastava also instructed office-bearers of different auto-rickshaw associations to install fixed rods on right exit of the middle seat row so that passengers did not get off from the wrong side. The decision has been taken in order to avoid accidents.
The drivers have also been asked to affix removable rods on the right of the front seat.
Aimed at regulating the 12,000-plus three-wheelers that ply on different routes across the coal town, Dhanbad district administration has also decided to strictly implement the existing blue dress code.
Drivers will have to wear blue pants and shirts from April 1. Within these three months, all of them will have to procure uniform. Confirming the decision, SDO Srivastava said: “The dress code will help passengers and policemen to identify auto drivers.”
General secretary of Dhanbad Zilla Trekker Magic Auto Owners’ Evam Chalak Sangh Chotan Singh was also happy about the decision. “The dress code will be in the interest of all — the auto drivers, passengers and police. If the drivers are in uniform, the police cannot harass them unnecessarily. Again, if any driver commits a crime, he can be easily identified,” he added.
The blue dress code for auto drivers was introduced on March 25, 2012, but drivers rejected it, thanks to no surprise checks by the police and district transport department and a spat between two auto associations. The SDO also agreed to fulfil the demand of the drivers to designate halts.
Traffic DSP Ashok Kumar Tirkey has been authorised to designate stops. Among those who attended the meeting were district transport officer Ravi Raj Sharma, DSP (traffic) Tirkey and representatives of auto associations.