The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 5 , 2014
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Fixed fare chart for fair auto ride

- Proposal to prevent drivers from charging commuters variable amount on same route

Forget arguing and haggling over fare while paying for autorickshaw rides, thanks to the soon-to-be introduced exhaustive fare chart prescribing fixed rates for different routes across the city.

The chart would be fixed on autorickshaws in a way that is easily visible to passengers by the end of April.

During Monday’s important meeting between the autorickshaw unions and the district administration, the former said the rate charts were being printed and would be distributed among the drivers from this month to help people check the rates before paying for a ride.

Rajkumar Jha, the general secretary of Bihar State Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Association, told The Telegraph: “A lot of points were discussed at the meeting. The issue of providing rate charts on all autorickshaws was the most important as it prevents confusion and arguments. The fare chart for the city’s autorickshaw routes was revised in April last year. Even then, frequent arguments arise between drivers and passengers over fares, which turn serious at times. Such things must stop. We hope to complete it by April as there are around 30,000 autorickshaws plying on the city roads.”

Commuters said the fare chart would be of great help.

“At times, autorickshaw drivers demand unreasonable fares. Last week, I paid Rs 10 for a ride from the station to Gandhi Maidan area. Two days back, I was asked to pay Rs 15 for the same trip, which led to an argument. In such cases, passengers can check the fare chart and pay accordingly,” Arun Kumar, a college student, told The Telegraph.

Autorickshaws ply on different routes of the city from Gandhi Maidan till Danapur.

Explaining how the fares would be fixed, Jha said: “The fares vary for different routes, starting from Rs 5 and going up to Rs 30. The smaller autorickshaws run on petrol and the bigger ones on diesel. The fare chart, for the time being, would be for three-wheelers plying on routes in Patna town area. For example, an auto starting from Patna Junction for Rajapur Pul would have fixed rates for specific distances, say from the station to Dakbungalow roundabout, to the Income Tax roundabout, to the Boring Road roundabout, to Boring Canal Road and to Rajapur Pul. Similarly, the rates for other routes would be fixed.”

However, there is a stalemate over the question of removal of extra guards on the bodies of autorickshaws.

Last month, Patna traffic superintendent of police Rajeev Mishra said autorickshaw drivers has been given a month’s time to remove the extra guards on the autorickshaws, which violate the rules of the Motor Vehicles Act.

“We are here to follow the rules, which should be the same for all. Many private vehicles, which use extra guards for protection, also come under the purview of the law. We have requested the district administration to initiate the implementation of the law for private vehicles or enforce it for all kinds of vehicles at one go. If they agree, the autorickshaws are ready to remove the guards,” said Jha.

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