All about Autos: Fares, coins and consumer complaints
DId you think that simple auto ride would become a matter of contention from every quarter?
Mumbai: It’s a hot October, with temperatures crossing 35 degrees Celsius in Mumbai on Sunday, reports The Times of India. It’s expected to get hotter today and tomorrow, it seems.
Anna Hazare made it hot for the PWD in his agitation against toll roads. “The public works department (PWD) has decided to increase the norm for minimum distance between two toll collection points,” says The Times of India. The minimum distance will now be 45 KM between two toll collection points.
Getting hotter still for auto rickshaw drivers, as the CM has ordered that all rickshaws be fitted with electronic meters, says Indian Express. While on auto rickshaws, a Bangalore based company has developed a solution for those who feel they’re being cheated by the rickshaw driver. “The commuter has to send a text by typing ‘@autofare to 9243342000 and Ideophone will get back with a summary of the total distance, the likely tariff and the major landmarks on the way that are stored in their database. The service is hosted on txtWeb,” Indian Express reports. Meanwhile, in bizarre news, auto fares in Navi Mumbai will actually be revised downward.
It’s so often that the rickshaw driver says he doesn’t have change – and he might be telling the truth. There’s an acute shortage of coins currently, causing people to ‘buy’ change in the black market, paying a premium of up to 25 per cent says DNA.
What’s not small change is the fortune that MMRDA spends on hiring cars. “And how much have the car rentals cost the exchequer? A whopping Rs9.22 crore from 2005 till this August. Now, contrast it with the Rs1.22-crore spent on fuel and maintenance of its own vehicles,” according to DNA.
This kind of misuse is obviously getting on the nerves of citizens. “A group of citizens has decided to field independent candidates in all 227 wards of Mumbai during the forthcoming civic polls. Mumbai 227, an association of motivated individuals, wants to change the way corporators are selected. The candidates, supported by the group, will have to go through rigorous interviews and prove to the selectors that they deserve to be a corporator,” reports Mumbai Mirror.
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Although slums do not even have the most basic of civic facilities, like drinking water supply or sewage collection, BMC argues that they have the right to collect tax from every structure in the city.
This is going to hit the middle-class. It was bad enough having to deal with the tampered autorickshaw meters, now we might be faced with an increase – legitimate – in auto, taxi and bus fares.