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Mandatory meters in auto rickshaws from May 1
In order to put a check on over charging by auto rickshaw drivers, the transport authorities have directed the auto rickshaw drivers in the provisional State capital to install and use fare meter in their auto rickshaw from May 1. Transport department officials said that this decision has been taken by the State administration in view of public complaints of over charging by auto rickshaw drivers especially during late evening and early morning hours as well as to improve the public transport system in the provisional state capital. The decision to enforce the meter system comes at a time when travelling from the Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) to some localities of Dehradun by auto rickshaw has become costlier than travelling from Dehradun to Delhi by bus. Earlier, on February 20, the Dehradun regional transport department had decided that auto rickshaws run on diesel and petrol should be operated out of the city while only electric auto rickshaw would be given permit for public transport in the city. In addition to this, auto rickshaw drivers were also directed to install fare meter in their vehicles and charge according to these from May 1.
The department had also issued warning to the auto rickshaw divers that fitness certificate would be issued by the department only after fare meter is installed and operational in the auto rickshaw. Leaders of the auto rickshaw drivers union had also resorted to protest against the direction for installing the meters. On Friday late evening, representatives of the auto rickshaw drivers union also met the senior transport officials but were told clearly that the meters will have to be installed and used from May 1 onward.
Sources said that the transport department had been receiving complaints from the public regarding over charge fare by auto rickshaw drivers for quite some time now. It was also mentioned that auto rickshaw drivers are not wearing uniform and stopping auto rickshaw at unauthorised places in the city. Complaints were also received about auto rickshaw drivers misbehaving with passengers while negotiating fare.
During late evening hours, auto rickshaw drivers charge many times the valid fare from passengers who have little choice due to limited public transport options at such hours. Some pointed out that though a general roadways bus can take a passenger from Dehradun to Delhi for about Rs 300, an auto rickshaw driver can charge up to Rs 400 for taking a person from ISBT to destinations like Raipur, Rajpur Road and other areas of the city during the night or early morning.
Sources said that around 2400 auto rickshaws are registered with the transport department but more than 5000 auto rickshaws are running in the city.
Traffic police had started pre-paid auto rickshaw service at Railway Station and ISBT between 2010 and 2013 but it could not be continued. This system was again implemented in 2016 but could not be continued yet again.
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