Thursday, June 23, 2005

Autos in Chennai

It is really a mystery as to why any Govt in Tamilnadu is not able to control the Autos in Chennai. They are just about 50000 in nos and if a Govt cannot control this small number, how can they claim to have control over the whole state of more than 5 Cr people ? Or is it that they do not want to control ? If it is so, why ?

Whenever I go out of Chennai, I am at peace while travelling in Autos, be it Bangalore, Pune, or Hyd . There you can get into any auto, at any place, any time , get down at any place you want, you are not charged more. Oh, in Chennai, the Auto meters are all " Soodu vachha meters" - to those who do not know Tamil- "tampered meters". No two autos will show the same fare for a fixed distance , but they all will show about 200 to 300 % more than the normal fare !!

And if you want to engage an Auto in the morning, the driver will ask you for "extra" saying that he will not get any passenger for the return trip. And this will be the excuse , whenever you travel or wherever you travel. They want Extra , that is all.

Of course, because of all these problems, for the last two years or so, no person living in Chennai will agree to pay the fare based on meter reading. He will bargain , but most of the times , end up paying a higher amount that what is due.

Now , with the raise in petrol fare, we are in for trouble once again. We all know that an Auto will run about 20/25 Kms for a litre of Petrol. So for an increase of Rs 3 per litre of petrol , the increase in running cost will be only 15 paise per KM. but the autos will demand an increase of atleast two, if not three rupees per KM.

So, if I was paying Rs 70 to T Nagar ( a distance of 9 Kms )till now, I may have to pay now Rs 85 or 90 from now onwards .

It is really a pity that the Govt is silent on this issue . It is the duty of the Govt to fix reasonable fare and see that the Autos follow the system. When will we get a functioning Govt in Chennai ?