It is a double-sweet victory for the residents of the IT Corridor, especially the techies, with autorickshaws starting to ply on share basis and the railways allowing stops for more trains at Kazhakkoottam, which was their long-time demand.
However, autorickshaw drivers at Kazhakkoottam auto stand are unhappy over the new system of fares that some of the auto drivers near railway station use under the share system. The techies, residents and drivers say that meters were never used here even when they were mandatory in the district. There are around 150 autorickshaws in the auto stand near the bus stand.
With stops allotted for more trains, techies and students find it easy to reach their destinations and most of them use train as the mode of transport. However, as some of the auto drivers are ready to ply on share basis to Technopark and other areas, the drivers at the auto stand can’t earn much.
Earlier, the techies had to travel by bus to Kazhakkoottam and then hire an auto to Technopark. From Kazhakkoottam Junction to Technopark, a distance of 2 km, the auto drivers used to charge Rs 40 and more.
“I have been driving for more than 5 years and not once have I operated the meter,” said Balan, an auto driver in Kazhakkoottam who now plies on share basis near Kazhakkoottam railway station. “With the new share system I earn around Rs 200 a day from the trips that I get during the arrival and departure of trains,” he said.
Commuters also do not seem to be in any mood to complain that the drivers are not using meters as they have to give only bus charge under the share auto system. “The new share auto system is really helping us as we need to spend only a small amount of money to reach office from railway station. We thank the railways for allowing stops for many trains here. With this, we can save money,” said Teena, a techie.
In the areas near the railway station here, autorickshaws are an integral mode of transport for techies and residents on their way to offices, schools and colleges as there only a few bus services.