Taken for a ride? You will get a surprise gift soon. Next time when you are in Kerala if taxi or auto drivers fleece you, you may get a money order back. Not a full cash back offer, you’ll get the excess money back. The Kerala Police has introduced the novel scheme to check the erring drivers and teach them a good lesson or two.
Last week Umesh Verma, a resident of Alwar (Rajasthan), was surprised to get a money order of Rs 400. On a trip to Kovalam, the famous beach resort, he gave Rs 500 to an unscrupulous driver. Metered charge was only Rs 100, but since he did not have change he gave Rs 500 note to him. The driver, however, refused to return the balance and fled. Duped, he approached a traffic constable who gave him a readymade complaint card. Filled in, he had forgotten it until he got the money order last week in Alwar. The erring driver had to pay the money order fee plus a big fine.
Or else, if you don’t have the patience to fill in a form you can call the toll-free number and file a complaint. The police are planning to display these numbers prominently at all public places. “Since Kerala is a major tourist destination, we are getting several complaints of overcharging, misbehaviour and rash driving. We have devised a plan to sort out these complaints on daily basis,” Assistant Commissioner of Police B. Verghese said. In 2007, around 50 lakh domestic and 5.5 lakh foreign tourists flocked the state.
Last week, at least 20 complaints of overcharging were settled in Thiruvananthapuram. A passenger doesn’t have to remember the vehicle number — its number, destination and time will be recorded at major starting points.