Monday, November 28, 2011

The Luxury of an Auto Ride

I work and reside in one of the fastest growing cities of India. Guwahati, the capital city of Assam, the gateway to North-East India. But unfortunately, the modes of public transport in the city has not grown over the years, except for the fares. Especially auto-rickshaws. They are the kings of fare rise. With every increase in the fuel prices, they raise their fares. And mind you, no meter system. I have never seen any auto using a meter till date. The minimum fare has become fifty rupees, which is for a distance not even a kilometer. Two years back, the fare for the same distance was thirty rupees. Well, compared to other metros and big cities of the country, auto-rickshaw fares were and still much higher. In all major cities in India, there is the concept of shared autos. But not in Guwahati. So, an auto-rickshaw ride in this city is either a luxury or a majboori (compulsion)! 

The auto-rickshaw drivers charge the commuters so highly with the excuse of high fuel rise. True, but in ninety percent cases, as per my personal experience, they cheat common people. A late evening, add some rain, and will be charged double or at least fifty percent more fare. Surprisingly, I had the good fate to come across a negligible number of honest auto-drivers. I have been charged twenty rupees and forty rupees in two separate cases for a distance of a kilometer in the past one month.

And as far as the fuel prices reason is concerned, it is high time that CNG is introduced in the city. Or at least, shared autos should be introduced route-wise. This will not only result in lower auto fares, but also make the auto-rickshaw the true common man's vehicle.Don't know when the concerned authorities will take notice of the situation.

Till then, in anticipation of a future, where auto-rickshaws will switch from the luxury mode to the convenience mode..

2 comments:

  1. Awesome, yeah! here (in Kolkata) too it happens...but they dont charge that much...a kilometer of ride costs u close to Rs8 and the longest journey could make u spend close to Rs30 (salt-lake area). But yes, they show powers man! They will decide where to go and where not to go....you might ask them for a journey, but they will decide if they wish to go! And they dnt use CNG here, they use kerosene+petrol and loves polluting and usually drives like hell (like Jenson Button or Michael Schumacher), the people sitting at the back are like terrified. hehehee. yes, common man's frind is an auto...in a very subtle texture.

    Thanks. keep writing!
    Sourav

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  2. Thanx Sourav for sharing your experience. I was in Kolkata for a few years, and I simply appreciate the multiple commuting options available. At least there are share-autos and shuttles. When I visited Hyderabad and Delhi, I was amazed at their low auto fares, thanks to CNG.

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Loved that you dropped by. It would lovely to know how you feel about this post too :)