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27 Mar 2019, Edition - 1352, Wednesday

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Coimbatore

The auto driver-passenger spats: will there be an end to it?

Anjusha CM

With the revision of minimum fare for autos still pending, commuters have a tough time while bargaining with the auto drivers in the city.

While the minimum fare varies from one area to another and from person to person, people find it difficult to hop into an auto fearing how much the driver would charge while they get down.

“I take Rs.30 as minimum charge from my passengers. Many drivers charge like me. But there are a few drivers who fleece their customers. Because of them, auto drivers are just being branded as rude and cheats,” says S. Dharmadurai, an auto driver.

“I had to reach my destination in five minutes. I was forced to pay Rs. 50 as the driver sensed my urgency. It was a walkable distance only. Due to time constraint I had to hop into an auto. When I questioned the driver, he started abusing me”, says Monisha, a passenger.

“We have our areas and we prefer to go there only. Depending on the distance we charge. Drivers of company autos – Ola, Namma Auto, Makkal Auto – get a fixed income every month. The companies pay them. We need to run our house,” say B. Selvarajan and S. Shivashanmugan, auto drivers.

“Comparing to past, we get less number of complaints about over charging by auto drivers now. The minimum charge is Rs. 25 for the first 1.8 km and Rs. 12 for every kilo metre. If the auto driver is found over charging, we fine him and suspend his licence for 10 days,” says S. Udayakumar, RTO Central.

“If the drivers charge normally, they are sure to get a decent income from their regular customers,” Udayakumar adds.

The general public and the drivers, in most cases, end up arguing and abusing each other when it comes to payment.

The popularity of company autos has gone up in the city and this is evident from the increased usage of such autos by individuals.

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