Saturday, March 03, 2007

Auto Anarchy

This story kind of sums up my take on recent fare revision and enforcement in Chennai.

Though, Chennai has the highest regulated Auto fare of any metro in India, Chennai Auto guys aren't happy with it and are off to their usual ways of fleecing the hapless passengers.

I would have personally taken Autos at least 10 times since the new fare came in to effect in January and not even once did the drivers charge by the meter. Worse, most of the time, drivers didn't use the meter at all citing the 'grace period' and 'faulty' meters. The only time, the driver did put on the meter was for a long trek and even then made sure that he would get INR 20 over the meter. This wasn't a tip, but a pre-negotiated 'extra'.

Now that the Chennai Autos technically have time till July to re-calibrate meters, Autos will continue to charge arbitrarily and Government wouldn't take any action either. Not that, Autos will fall in line after the grace period, which will not happen till the City Government enforces rule of law.
According to some officials, the Transport department was going slow on enforcement only to give "grace period" to the drivers. An official, on the condition of anonymity, said they were forced to go slow because the revision had come after a decade. Strict enforcement would start in the second week of March.


  1. I would like to see PK's comments as he hates NRIs involving in internal confidential and conditioned affairs of Bharat. So I keep my comments reserved lest he will demand NRIs do not visit their mother land.


  2. Ram, I feel the problem cannot be solved unless the police ensure compliance, with strict monitoring. They simply don't show the willingness to do this, either becuase they are colluding or because they are under political pressure.

  3. Do you know that most of the 2 lakh illegal autos are owned by wives of Police? Given that there are only 45000 permits given and hoarded by the North Indian (Sowcarpet Saits as they say) to sell at Rs 65000 to Rs 70000 (in the name of transfer) and 5000 permits given under special scheme (SC/ST/Women) of Rs 500 during JJ period (actually costing Rs 5000 to the auto owners). Now the rest of 1.5 lakh autos carry duplicate permit (or might have been issued by Kanchipuram Dt. that might be only less than 1000).
    Some much for organized union-police-politician nexus.
    The only option is to give more permits - which the union would oppose saying it is anti-auto-poor.

    M Ravi (once involved in Chennai Traffic conundrum)

  4. Kod
    This is not a fair comment.. PK's point is about NRI's who are always complaining and not about constructive criticisms.

    Yes.. it is about enforcement and Police doesn't have the willpower and the priority to do that part..

    hmm.. what a mess.. This will not get cleaned up anytime soon..