TIRUCHY: Residents of the city who hire auto-rickshaws stationed regularly on NSB Road have alleged that most of the drivers are charging them very high fares and almost all of the vehicles lack a fare meter.
Several hundred shops selling garments, mobile phones, jewellery, and electronic goods are located on NSB Road, besides several hotels. It is one of the busiest places in the city with many people coming in large numbers for shopping. However, it is not big enough to facilitate the movement of city bus
Most of the people who come here, after completing their purchase, invariably head to auto-rickshaws parked on the roads to ride back home. However, people allege that the drivers demand high fares.
Speaking to TNIE, M Komathi, a resident of Varaganeri, said, "My residence is within 3 km from NSB Road and usually the auto fare is between `100 and `120. But, none of the auto drivers is willing to bring me home for less than Rs 200. Recently, I paid the amount a driver demanded as I had no other alternative.
The drivers generally charge more citing a hike in fuel prices. But, most of the autos that are found on NSB Road run on gas and not petrol or diesel. The Collector should look into this and ensure that meters are fitted in the auto-rickshaws."
M Ayyappan, a resident of West Bouleward Road, said, "My residence is just a km away from NSB Road and the auto fare is usually between `40 and `50. Now, they are charging between `80 and `100. None of them is ready to reduce the fare. No bus can enter this road and we end up agreeing to pay the high fare. Auto drivers are supposed to keep a fare chart in their vehicles, which most of them don't."
An auto driver on NSB Road in Tiruchy, said, "Meter-fitted vehicles will spell a huge loss for us. We do not demand very high fare from passengers. Currently, gas prices are as high as petrol and diesel. Apart from this, many people are getting Ola and Uber autos. So, most of us do not get return trips to the
When contacted, Tiruchy (East) Regional Transport Officer BS Gajapathy told TNIE, "We inspected NSB Road two months ago. I will go and check the place once again and take action."