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09 Dec 2019, Edition - 1609, Monday

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Coimbatore

Autos with fake meters dupe passengers

Umaima Shafiq

Campaigning to get government-certified fare meters installed in auto rickshaws over the past 40 years, CM Jayaraman, the President of Citizen’s Voice Club, an organisation fighting for civic issues expressed concern over autos that continued to fleece and dupe people with fake meters.

Our efforts have come to a point that meters have been installed in many autos and call taxis. Also the GPS technology has helped to calibrate fares correctly. Despite this, there are at least 50-60 auto rickshaws that have devised their own meters and are duping customers with increased fares.

“I too was tricked recently. I had taken a call taxi from Ramanathapuram to the railway station and was charged Rs.80. While coming back I took an auto as it was getting dark. The driver claimed it was meter auto and showed me a calibrating device on his cell phone.

However, halfway to Ramanathapuram the fare shown in the meter was Rs.105. When I asked the driver, he said charges were according to fuel price rise.”

Realising that it was a fake meter, Jayaraman queried why there was no certification on it. The driver said that the government had not bothered to control fuel prices so they had devised their own meter. He also claimed that he was a new driver and not the auto rickshaw owner.

“As it was very late, I paid the fare and did not even note the auto number as the driver sped away,” Jayaraman added. Finally the Citizen’s Voice Club met and requested the District Collector to direct the four regional transport offices in Coimbatore to warn such auto drivers.

According to him, many of these autos were near the Collector’s office, railway stations, Race Course and other crowded areas. Jayaraman cautions gullible tourists and newcomers to Coimbatore from being tricked by such auto drivers

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