KOCHI: You may not have to hire the first auto you see and pay the exorbitant amount that the drivers demand while you ply on the city roads.
The city traffic police and the corporation is planning to set up more prepaid auto stands in order to prevent fleecing of passengers by auto drivers.
The existing prepaid auto system is heavily centered around two city railway stations. The authorities are planning to decentralise it and extend it to major junctions in the city. The new auto stands would come up at Edappally junction, KSRTC bus stand, Thoppumpady junction and Tripunithura. There will be at least 50 autos plying from each counter.
The budget for new prepaid auto stands will be about `5 lakh. Apart from new counters, the non-working existing counters-like the one near KSRTC station, will also be renewed.
The construction phase of the counters in these junctions have reached their final stage. The service will be available soon after installation of computers and other amenities. On a daily basis, the both east and west city traffic police offices are flooding with numerous complaints of fleecing of passengers by auto drivers. Several incidents regarding misbehaviour from auto drivers and assault by the drivers, were also reported in the recently.
The new counters are supposed to put an end to such unfortunate incidents. Apart from a computer assistant, one or more police officials will also be posted at the new counters.
However, authorities are still mum on the call for rate revision in prepaid counters. The passengers have often complained that rate revisions are unscientific in the counters at South and North Railway stations. While new counters are being floated, there is no word coming from authorities about whether they will fix the contentious rates in the existing counters in the new ones too.