Failure of authorities to install meters in Auto-rickshaws is taking a heavy toll on commuters in the summer capital.
In absence of regulation, commuters allege that they are charged exorbitant rates by most of the Auto-rickshaws drivers.
Most of the auth-rickshaw drivers have failed to comply with directions by authorities to install meters and charge passengers as per its reading.
Passengers end up paying anywhere between Rs 100 to Rs 150 for five-km distance on an average. The situation gets worse in evening when most of the passenger buses go off the roads. "
"Some auto-rickshaws charge Rs 70 from Regal Chowk to Dalgate, another Rs 60. Due to delay in installation of meters, passengers are forced to pay different fares for one location," said Ashiq Ahmad, a commuter.
However, autorickshaw owners give their own reasons for not installing meters. Shahid Ahmad, an autorickshaw driver said earlier the authorities had issued strict orders for installation of meters. "But gradually the authorities did not press for it," he said.
Ajaz Ahad, another auto-rickshaw driver claimed that "people don't press for meter. So I didn't install it."
The auth-drivers also have another reason for charging exorbitant rates from passengers. "There has been steep increase in fuel prices. We have no option but to charge more" a group of auth-rickshaw drivers said. The added that frequent traffic jams on vital routes of the city consumes extra fuel.
But commuters blame authorities for failing to install meters in auto-rickshaws. "The transport authorities have given free hand to auto-drivers to charge at will. How many times have the drivers been fined for charging exorbitant fares from customers?," asked Waseem Ahmad of Rambagh.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) (Traffic) city Tahir Al Geelani said that autorickshaw drivers had submitted a representation before authorities for recalibration of meters.
"Earlier, the meters were calibrated as per the then fuel prices. The autorickshaw associations have submitted a representation wherein they have urged authorities to recalibrate the meters as per present fuel prices. The recalibration process will be completed shortly," the SSP added.