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.