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Petrol price hike: Auto drivers ask for exorbitant fares
Drivers’ claim they cannot ply at 5-yr-old state tariffs with the current price of fuel
Meanwhile, city’s autorickshaw drivers, who are infamous for fleecing passengers, now cite the increased price of fuel as the only reason why they ply without switching on the meters.
Working president affiliated to CITU Tamil Nadu Auto Drivers Federation, AL Manoharan, said, “The drivers of autorickshaws and share autos have increased the fares as fuel prices have been increasing for a few months. Since January, the price of petrol has risen by Rs 20. It is impossible to adhere to the government fixed tariffs and make a decent money every day.”
But, a regular passenger from Anna Nagar, N Srimathi, said, “The drivers never followed the government tariff anyway. They always demand extra money.” “Things have taken a turn for the worse now as they refuse to turn on the auto meters and demand exorbitant fares,” she said.
Even though Manoharan agreed that the number of public complaints registered against them has been on the rise too, he said, “The enforcement agencies are being lenient towards us because they understand our plight. It is illogical for us to ply autos at the stipulated fare.”
It was in August 2013 that the government that made its last announcement on tariffs for the autorickshaws plying in the city. At that time, petrol was available at Rs 74.49 per litre. Since the fares have not been revised despite the rise in fuel prices, the autorickshaw drivers’ union is wants the government to fix new tariffs.
A senior official said, “It is a policy-level decision which needs to be made by the government. We can expect an announcement in future.”