For all these years, people who travel by autos in Chennai city have been facing issues regarding the exorbitant rates charged by the auto drivers. Some people avoid auto-rickshaws totally for this reason also. This wont be an issue anymore. The information gathered is the government has finalized the tenders for digital GPS enabled fare meters and it would have built-in printers. Another point is there would also be panic buttons present in the auto-rickshaws and by this the passengers would be able to travel safely. It must be noted that when a passenger presses the panic button, then alert would be sent to the control room.
On Monday, 10th June 2019, transport minister, Mr. M.R. Vijayabaskar spoke about how the control room would call up the police with the vehicles coordinates that would save time in responding to an emergency. If the auto drivers try operating their vehicles without switching on the meters then the control centre would have the personnel to call up the drivers. GPS system would be kept running by the presence of an inbuilt battery. Tampering of the fare meter would not be possible and it is revealed now that any tampering by the driver would result in control room receiving a notification.
It was stated by the transport department officials that a penalty amount of Rs 100 to Rs 200 would be collected from the auto drivers for keeping the fare meters off. The sensational piece of news is vehicle permits would be cancelled for repeat offenders for a time period of 6 months. A demo has been set up at Anna Nagar RTO with 20 autos and this was carried out by a New Delhi based private firm.
A driver belonging to Shenoy Nagar expressed his thoughts about the GPR enabled fare meters. He spoke about how the high cost of the meters of Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 would prevent many drivers from fixing the meters. He added that the government must sell the meters at subsidized cost. Finally, driver threw light on the fare chart and said it was outdated and needs to be revised with the current fuel and tax rates.
It is important to note that originally the fares were unregulated in Chennai city and only after the intervention of the court the government came out with a fare chart. The point to be noted is government had set Rs 25 as minimum fare for the first 1.8 km and Rs 12 for every additional km traveled. The truth is auto drivers started fleecing the passengers and this resulted in the government proposal to fix GPS enabled fare meters in as many as 43,000 autos in the Chennai city at a cost of Rs 110 crores in the first phase.