Tamil Nadu government’s decision to put an end to charging of exorbitant rates by auto drivers has raised much hope among people of Puducherry as they expect that a similar measure will be adopted by the Puducherry government.
It was in 2009 that the rates were revised in Puducherry. But it has not been implemented yet. A cross section of society said that at least now, the government should enforce the revised rates in Puducherry.
As per the rates fixed by the government,the drivers should charge Rs 20 for the first two km and Rs 10 for every subsequent km. The Road Transport Authority also put up the rates at new bus stand and autometres had been installed in a good number of autorickshaws. The charges for travel in certain destinations frequented by tourists and common people had also been put up. Despite this, the fares fixed by the government had gone unimplemented.
The auto drivers had refused to accept the rates and wanted the government to fix a minimum fare of Rs 30 for the first two km and `15 for every subsequent km.
However, civil society organisation People’s Pulse, Pondy Can, 5th Fillar, Rajiv Gandhi Human Rights Association, Magalir Mandram, HOPE, Christians Protection Association, Puducherry Environment Council and Kurunjinagar Resident’s Association had submitted memorandums to the Transport Commissioner and SP (Traffic) objecting to the auto driver unions’ demand. Since then the issue has remained unresolved.
Currently, there are more than 3,000 autorickshaws plying in the UT with around 2,500 in Puducherry region alone. At the turn of scenario in TN, AIADMK secretary and MLA Anbazhagan had demanded that the government fix the auto fares and regulate the charges.
Transport Commissioner S D Sunderasan told Express that a meeting of the State Transport Authority was held last month. But no decision has been taken yet. However, a comprehensive proposal would be sent to the government with regard to revision of rates.