HYDERABAD: Ever since the formation of Telangana, auto-rickshaws have missed the radar of enforcement authorities. Despite being placed at the corner of the driver’s seat, the brand-new meters installed in the autos are barely functional. Residents lament the ever-increasing fuel charges along with exorbitant rates quoted by the autowallahs.
The auto drivers are no more concerned about the revision of fares in the State as the last GO for autos over ‘Revision of Fares’ was issued in February 2014. Lack of awareness over complaint mechanisms (either through RTA or Legal Metrology departments), and people getting habituated with these exorbitant prices can be presumed for auto drivers not using the meters.
In 2014, the revised fares were `20 (minimum for 1.6 km). For each subsequent kilometre, an addition of `11 and detention charges for every minute was observed. RTA officials say that the Department, at present, doesn’t receive any complaints over these non-functional meters and say that even the auto drivers’ associations aren’t too keen on revising the fares. “We were taking action against autos for inflated prices. Special teams were sent to bus stands and railway stations. Now people are not complaining. Pandemic also pushed the issue to a corner,” an RTA official said.
Meanwhile, the Legal Metrology Department continues its work. Drivers who never use the meters, approach their centres at Attapur and Saidabad to get their meters calibrated. “We ensure that the meters are running properly, as per the latest fixed fares by the government,” said T Shivanand, Assistant Controller, Legal Metrology Department.
Meanwhile auto drivers’ unions are not ready to take the blame and are ready to have talks with officials over the issue for revision of meter rates, in view of huge rise in fuel prices, since 2014.