Mangaluru, May 05, 2017: DK DC Dr K G Jagadeesha on May 4, Thursday decided to convene a meeting of authorities concerned for the effective implementation of prepaid auto system in the city. The decision follows a first-hand experience of the DK DC in the recent past, when he had to acquiesce to a demanding autorickshaw driver.
The DK DC who shared the incident in a rather lighter vein during the grievance redressal meeting at the auditorium of Regional Transport Office here, said, "When I arrived at the railway station in Mangaluru 20 days ago, I had to inevitably board the auto, as my official vehicle was delayed. The driver demanded the fare and I conceded out of sympathy as the automen in general earn very poorly."
The DC also added, "I could have initiated action by instructing the authorities concerned, but decided to let it off, sympathising with him."
Meeting on issue
When representatives of some of the organisations and also a few among the automen urged the DK DC to take corrective steps in this regard, Dr Jagadeesha announced he would convene a meeting of railway authorities, police and also Regional Transport Office in this regard.
The DC was apprised over the sorry state of affairs in the existing prepaid counter at the Mangaluru central railway station, where the counter has gone defunct, with the computer having been donated for the purpose lying idle. In the absence of the system, some of the transport operators fix the fare, thus extorting from gullible passengers. There is no such system in place at Mangaluru junction station near Kankanady, the officer was told.
Arun, an auto driver associated with Karnataka Rakshna Vedike, suggested the Police Department to depute dedicated personnel at the prepaid counters once they are commissioned, to ensure a foolproof system, on the lines of Bengaluru and other cities.
No fare revision : Mohammed Irfan, secretary of Federation of Karnataka Auto Drivers Union, demanded hike in fare, following the steep revision in insurance premium, followed by fluctuation in fuel prices. The deputy commissioner outrightly rejected the demand saying the auto operators in the city have been blessed with minimum fare of Rs 25 when compared to most of the other cities in the state and also neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra States, where they charge lesser.
Quoting records, the DK DC said, while the autos in the city are charging a minimum fare of Rs 25 and stage fare of Rs 13 (for every one km), the minimum fare charged in Madikeri is Rs 20 (stage fare Rs 12), Dharwad Rs 15 (10) against minimum fare of Rs 20 in Kasargod (Kerala) and Rs 18 at Mumbai in Maharashtra State. That apart, 10 more towns in Karnataka are charging less fare comparatively.