Authorities sit on installation of fare meters in auto-rickshaws
Srinagar: Failure of authorities to install fare meters in auto-rickshaws in the summer capital is taking heavy toll on passengers.
Most of the passengers said that in absence of fare meters in auto-rickshaws, they are charged exorbitant fares.
“In absence of any regulation, auto-rickshaws ply without fare meters. Taking undue advantage, most of the auto-rickshaw drivers charge exorbitant fare,” said Muhammad Sultan, a passenger.
From Jehangir Chowk to Polo view, a passenger is charged over Rs 70. The rates also vary from one auto-rickshaw to another on the same routes.
Passengers said that despite directions from authorities on the installation of meters, there is no implementation on the ground.
The passengers said that during peak hours, women and students are stranded as they are unable to hire auto-rickshaws amid exorbitant fare rates.
“On distance of less than three kilometers, we are charged anywhere between Rs 100 to Rs 200. What kind of system is this? During absence of buses and cabs in the evenings, rates get even higher. There are young students who get pocket money less than normal auto fares in Kashmir. How can they afford auto rides We cannot hitchhike like male passengers and most office goers,” said Afshana Ahad, a student.
Some of the auto-rickshaw operators said most of them haven’t installed meters as there are no strict directions for the same.
“Most of us have been going on without meters for years. The rule should be implemented for all and the rates should be fixed in a way that we don’t run into losses. You can see that petrol prices are skyrocketing and that should also be taken into consideration,” said Zahoor Ahmed, an auto-rickshaw driver.
Officials have been saying that they are trying their best to make the operators follow the meter rules. They said that many erring operators were fined for the same.