Petition to fix auto rates reaches transport department
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
16th July 2012 08:26 AM
Several voluntary organisations have urged the Transport Comissioner, T Prabhakara Reddy to introduce rate card system as followed in metros like Mumbai and Bengaluru for autorickshaws in the city, besides putting in place a system to monitor the effective implementation of the rate cards.
Representatives from Bhumi.org, an NGO, the Lok Satta party and Transparent Chennai, a civic initiative by the Institute of Financial Management and Research (IFMR) came together on the issue of implementing a standard system of auto fares in the city.
These groups who had been in touch through the internet and social media, met up at the Semmozhi Poonga recently and held a brain storming session earlier and identified four major grievances and possible solutions to “excessive” fares. Implementation of the ‘rate card system’ which would have fixed charges for transporting people to designated areas, the feasibility of a toll-free helpline to report violations of the system, regular re-calibration of the auto meters were the suggested solutions that were discussed during the meeting.
The civic groups presented their views to the transport commissioner along with Chennai City Connect’s survey of the auto industry. Chennai City Connect, an initiative that brings transport woes to light, released a survey in December 2010, analysing the lifestyle and earning patterns of auto drivers, auto fares and their relation to petrol price hikes, among other things.
In June, Prahalathan Karunakaran , co-founder of Bhumi.org posted a petition online at change.org’ seeking support for rationalisation of auto fares with the aim of presenting it eventually to the authorities. “When I posted this petition, I did not think I would get as much response as it did. But more than 6,300 people have expressed their solidarity with this issue,” said Prahalathan.
In response to the petition, the transport commissioner said, “We’re currently studying the pattern of rates and their fixation from the neighbouring states. I have constituted a technical committee with five officers, who will look into the matter. You can expect us to give our recommendations to the government after two weeks.”
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