Srinagar: Failure of authorities to install fare meters in auto-rickshaws is taking a toll on people in the summer capital.
Passengers including office goers, students and traders said that amid the crippled transport system following Smart City works in the city centre, auto-rickshaw operators charge exorbitant fares.
“Auto-rickshaw operators in Srinagar have no concept of charging fare as per meters. Even if the passenger is traveling between two shortest points, the rate is above Rs 100 and different auto operators will charge different rates. There are many people who don’t own a vehicle and rely on public transport like autos. Ironically authorities have failed to install meters in autos,” said Altaf Ahmad, an office goer.
These passengers said that almost all auto-rickshaws in Srinagar have failed to comply with the directions by authorities to install meters and charge passengers as per its reading.
“We mostly rely on auto-rickshaws to reach our college, but amid exorbitant fares, it has become impossible for us to afford a ride,” said a student.
Most of the auto rickshaw operators said authorities haven’t informed them to install meters. “If meters are to be installed, we hope that the government will consider high fuel prices and the rates will be regulated accordingly so we don’t run into losses. So far, most of us are not operating with meters as there is no such order in our knowledge,” said Fayaz Ahmed, an auto-driver.
An official of RTO Kashmir aid that they would ensure that overcharging by auto-rickshaws is avoided. “We will launch a drive against erring auto-drivers so that passengers won’t suffer,” Shah said.