The prepaid auto service was launched in the city to put an end to the exploitation of passengers, but now, the facility itself is leaving both passengers and auto drivers confused.
Sample this; on October 25, a passenger boards an auto at the Central Railway Station, Thampanoor, to go to Kowdiar. The slip issued to him at the prepaid auto counter shows the fare as Rs 38. The same passenger travels the same route on November 9 using the prepaid auto facility at the railway station. This time, he pays Rs 56!
The two receipts issued to a passenger for the same destination, that is from Thampanoor to Kowdiar, on October 25 and November 9 respectively show a difference of Rs 18. Both trips were made after 10 pm. The receipt having the number 480731/12 issued on October 25 mentions the fare as Rs 38, while the slip with number 504862/12 issued on November 9 says the trip costs Rs 56.
“I kept these receipts safely with me because when I used the facility on an earlier occasion before October 25, I was charged Rs 68. When such confusions occur, it creates problems for the passengers and drivers. This carelessness can cause losses for both parties. I cannot understand on what basis are they fixing these fares,” he said.
And it should be noted that auto fares have not been revised between these two dates. But the Traffic Police say they are helpless. “The fares are fixed and already uploaded in the computer. The fare will increase by 50 per cent automatically after 10 pm. So, the Traffic Police cannot do anything about this as the fares are printed as per the instructions given by the computer,’’ said Assistant Commissioner, Traffic (North), P Mohanan.