City auto drivers pay no heed to govt warnings; continue to run without fare meters

City auto drivers pay no heed to govt warnings; continue to run without fare meters

Sana Fazili
SRINAGAR: Auto rickshaw drivers of the city have paid no heed to the warnings of the transport department asking them to install fare meters on their vehicles or make the devices functional wherever already installed.
Despite repeated warnings by transport department that the vehicles without meters would be seized and driver’s license cancelled, majority of the auto rickshaws in the city are without meters. Those vehicle drivers who have installed meters don’t put them to any use.
“It is only the devices that have been installed, they are yet to be put to use,” said Shabir Ahmed, an auto rickshaw driver.
Rickshaw owners alleged that the rates haven’t been fixed yet, as such the installed meters stand defunct.
Officials, however, claimed that the drive has been started to seize the defaulting three-wheelers.
Superintendent of Police (Traffic), Maqsood-ul-Zaman said that they are working jointly with the motor and vehicle department in the drive.
“So far we have seized 100 auto-rickshaws. Our cops are deployed at various places to make sure auto rickshaws have operational fare meters,” Maqsood-ul-Zaman said. Over 10,000 rickshaws ply on the roads in the city.
Despite the drive, the commuters said they continue to be charged exorbitantly.
“I asked an auto driver to start the meter, but he said it is not working. Nothing has changed, I haven’t seen any traffic cop stopping the autos to check whether the meters are functional,” said Amira Ali, a college student.
Regional Transport Officer, Mehboob Shah, said they faced problems owing to lack of space. “After parking 15 autos in our office premises, there was no space for more. We then earmarked space in Bemina where these autos could be accommodated,” Mehboob Shah said.

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