According to the records, more than 15,000 auto-rickshaws are plying in Guntur city. (Photo | Express)
According to the records, more than 15,000 auto-rickshaws are plying in Guntur city. (Photo | Express)

Guntur residents rue costly auto rides

As APSRTC and private buses are not frequent and are limited to only few routes, auto-rickshaws have become the major means of transport for the residents of Guntur city.

GUNTUR: Squeezing into the narrow streets and busy main roads, auto-rickshaws are considered to be the most affordable and budget-friendly ride across India. Internalising the map of every nook and corner of the city, the auto drivers help us ferry from point A to point B in a matter of no time. However, the same autos in Guntur city have become only for the rich as the unions have increased the bar and started charging exorbitant prices impacting the monthly budget of the middle class.

As APSRTC and private buses are not frequent and are limited to only a few routes, auto-rickshaws have become the major means of transport for the residents of Guntur city. According to the records, more than 15,000 auto-rickshaws are plying in the city.

However, in the past few months, auto-rickshaw unions have increased the fares and are collecting Rs 20 as a basic charge and hiked the price by Rs 5 per km. As a result, the passengers are burdened to pay an extra Rs 80 to Rs 100 to travel from the bus stand to Chuttugunta centre, whereas, in the past, it was only Rs 50. After receiving numerous complaints about high fares, the traffic officials have conducted a meeting with auto drivers’ unions to set reasonable prices. But the efforts went in vain as the unions continued to collect high fares.

Speaking to TNIE, K Chinmayi, a passenger said, “With the skyrocketing prices of vegetables and daily commodities, it has become very difficult to run a household comfortably. I have to travel from Nehru Nagar to Nagarampalem for which I have to change two autos. Every day I have to spend about Rs 200, which is putting a huge dent in our monthly expenses. When we question the increased prices, they are asking us to find another auto,” she added.

On the other hand, T Tirumala Babu, an auto driver said, “The prices are decided by all unions collectively and we have to follow them. We can’t charge the commuters as we like. Fuel prices are at an all-time high and we are not allowed to carry passengers exceeding the registered capacity.”

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com