SRINAGAR: Despite having been given 20 days to install fare meters, auto rickshaw drivers are still plying without them.
Traffic Police Srinagar had earlier directed the auto drivers to recalibrate the meters of their rickshaws within 20 days, but the majority of the drivers have failed to abide by the directions.
As per data, only 1,500 meters have been recalibrated and around 8,500 meters are to be recalibrated.
An official at the Regional Transport Office told Kashmir Reader that the employees assigned to check the auto rickshaw fare meters “are not in the field, they are sitting in the office”.
Earlier, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Traffic, Srinagar city, Al-Tahir Gillani said most rickshaws were plying illegally in the city as it is mandatory for them to have functional fare meters. Passengers should also contribute to make the move successful by not travelling in autos without fare meters, he said. “We have started a drive against the auto rickshaws in which we have challaned nearly about 700 auto drivers and seized more than 70 auto richshaws,” Gillani announced.
Adding that the traffic police’s first priority is the meters are installed; “after that we will take the next step”, the SP said. The process of recalibration is hectic as the designated four centres in the city were not sufficient. “We have already conveyed the message to the Regional Transport Officer to provide more centres, so that this can ease the budden.”
There are only four centres, one at Magarmal Bagh, another at Sheeraz Chowk and the other two at Karan Nagar and Ikhwan Chowk.
As for the other side, a group of auto rickshaw drivers told Kashmir Reader, “We don’t care for these steps. They are taking this initiative every year and after that they forget about it. We have installed the meters in our autos, but they are not going to be applicable as there has been a steep increase in fuel prices. The frequent traffic jams important routes of the city consumes extra fuel. Charging more from passengers is natural,” the group said.