For the others, Chandigarh’s beauty may at times be irrelevant in the face of its glaring lack of civic amenities. Such as a reliable transport system. Now that buses don’t ply at regular intervals, people have to depend on auto rickshaws, which are both expensive and unsafe. One of the most dangerous aspects of auto drivers style on the road is the way they stop abruptly at bus stops. Often, it is up to the bus driver to avoid a collision. That or, providence.
Inevitably, a CTU bus driver got into an argument with an auto driver recently, which resulted in a traffic jam on the Sector 35-36 dividing road. CTU bus drivers stopped all buses on that road demanding a solution to the problem.
Ranjit Singh Hans, Gen Sec, CTU Workers Union (Auto rickshaws do not follow rules and regulations)
The State Transport Authority in Chandigarh has thoughtfully prohibited autos from carrying more than three passengers in one go. But the implementation of the rule is questionable with autos even carrying up to five passengers. The fare has been fixed at Rs 8 per kilometer, but auto drivers charge whatever they want from hapless commuters who have no other way. As far as overloading is concerned, they have their justification.
Raj Kumar, Auto Rickshaw Driver, Chandigarh (Passengers do not avail meter rates and that’s why we have to take more than three passengers)
If traffic police are not able to get their hands on auto drivers violating the norms, one could put in down in part to the remarkable coordination between auto drivers, who alert each other about checkposts on city routes. They have made evading police and checkposts a fine art. As anyone traveling regularly by auto will tell you, fares are a major problem. In fact you could buy a small car and pay EMIs for about as much as a month’s payment made to an auto driver.
Paramjit Kaur (we can wait for bus but will not prefer to go auto rickshaws)
Kamal Kumar (Auto rickshaws do not have any system and they are mismanaged)
Manoj Sharma (The auto rickshaw drivers do not install meters and they over charge the passengers)
The State Transport Authority did not envisage any of this. Under the STA rules,
1) Auto operators are advised to charge fare as per meter
2) Auto drivers are advised to put on uniform with a nameplate
3) The STA does not grant permit to petrol, diesel autos
4) Overloading is strictly prohibited
5) Only three passengers are allowed in an auto
6) Autos cannot stop at bus stops
7) Complaints of auto drivers can be made at the number 0172-2700159.
If things are bad in Chandigarh, they are worse in Mohali, which does not have a hint of a public transport system. Unless you have your own mode of conveyance, autos are a given in Mohali, which gives auto drivers the power to do what they please. Overloading, overcharging and unsafe driving are things Mohali residents have learnt to live with. When questioned, auto drivers do not even try to give a believable excuse.
Babu Ram, Auto Rickshaw Driver, Mohali (He was overloaded with passengers and made an excuse that in Mohali six passengers are allowed in auto rickshaw)
Comparing the monopoly of unscrupulous auto drivers in Mohali to a powerful mafia would not be far fetched. But you have to stand it and if you can’t you wouldn’t have an option but to wait for hours for a CTU bus.
Mandeep Minhas (Auto rickshaws charges heavily)
Gurmeet Singh (Auto rickshaws charges heavily and they use their own routes)
Pinki Saini (Its difficult to afford the fare of auto rickshaws and moreover, there is no security)
Panchkula is pretty much the same as Mohali as far as auto drivers are concerned. No one bothers about fare on the meter or overloading. Everyday hundreds of lives are risked on rickety, precariously balanced autos.
Kishan Lal, auto rickshaw driver, Panchkula (If we will only only few students in auto then it would become difficult for us to survive.)
So how do residents put up with all this?
What the passengers in Panchkula feel, lets hear from them:
Jasmeet Kaur (The plight of auto rickshaws are pathetic as they flouting the rules)
Byte: Col. Vijay Jamwal (the practise by auto rickshaws should be stopped by authorities)
Stanzin (There charges should be fixed and they should not over charge the passengers)
Civic authorities in Panchkula claim to be tightening the noose on negligent auto drivers.
Surinder Kumar, Secretary Regional Transport Authority, Panchkula (We challan those auto’s who are not fulfilling the rules. More than three passengers are not allowed in auto’s)
Such autos have been plying for years in the tricity. No one gives a second glance to overloaded autos and there’s no one you can turn to even when you know you have been fleeced. There may be a regulatory body but no regulation. And while this goes on, commuters pay through their noses for a teeth chattering, bone cracking ride.
- Auto drivers march from Sec 34 to Sec 25 in Chandigarh
- Process for issuance of 10,000 new auto permits starts
- New auto-rickshaw policy on the anvil
- 1,500 autorickshaws challaned in Delhi
- Commuters left in the lurch due to auto strike
- Auto, cycle-rickshaws overloaded with kids in Chandigarh
- CTU bus union members stop buses on the road
- Pick-up van crashed into auto injuring 8 people
- Public transport may get dearer by Rs1.40 in Punjab,Chandigarh
- 200 auto drivers protest impounding of autos