Delhiites continue to be harassed close to two years after the Delhi government increased auto fares following mass strikes by auto drivers in the Capital.
Auto rickshaw unions were told to ensure that auto drivers comply with rules and go by the metre after the hike in June 2010. But the greed of auto drivers to earn extra money by overcharging has left commuters helpless.However, some commuters lodged complaints with the traffic police and the number of complaints is an easy indicator of how bad things are.
A comparison between complaints received by the traffic police in the past two years reveals that in some months of 2011, there has been an increase of a whopping 650 per cent in complaints related to overcharging.
In April 2010, the police had received six complaints of overcharging and in 2011, 39 complaints were received during the same month. Similarly, in June 2010, 12 complaints of overcharging were received whereas in 2011 it increased to 47, an increase of 300 per cent. Contrary to government expectations, complaints of overcharging have only increased.
Transport minister Arvinder Singh said they will soon install global positioning system (GPS) in all auto rickshaws to eliminate the possibility of overcharging by drivers.
"We will take action against errant drivers. It is very unfortunate that even after the fare hike they have been fleecing people. Even I get a lot of email complaints of overcharging."
On its part, the traffic police are now planning to launch a special prosecution drive.
"We are waiting for new auto rickshaws to be added to the fleet as per the directions of the Supreme Court. If this too does not work, we will initiate massive prosecution drives soon," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police, (traffic). There are a total of 50,000 auto rickshaws plying in the city.
Rajendra Soni, president of Bharat Autorickshaw Chaalak Singh, "CNG prices have increased four times but the fare only once. We don't want that fare should be increased but CNG prices should be decreased. This will keep a check on cases of overcharging."