Sunday, September 16, 2012

Meter enga?

'Meter Enga' means Where is the meter.A very important campaign is gaining momentum in Chennai. This campaign is aimed against a malaise that has plagued the Chennaites for decades now. By the way the people of Chennai are generally law abiding and accept their miserable fate with minimum complaints. But the long suffering Tambi is finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, so to say.

The Times of India has launched a campaign to get back the auto rickshaw meter. The aim is to get one lakh signatures from the public so that the concerned authorities are forced to take remedial and corrective measures. The idea is to get back the missing meter. Yes, let us get back the auto meter.
The responses have been amazing but there is still a long way to go. There is nothing to stop you from getting involved in a campaign where a signature from you can generate the necessary acceleration to the momentum already created. Let us add fuel to the fire which will burn out another institutionalized corruption.
Mind you, the campaign is not restricted to the Chennaites. Anybody can get involved, the visitors from other parts of the country and other parts of the world too. Anyone who has visited Chennai has his own  'auto tale' and  most of it is nasty and  shameful.
Some of the responses have shown that the malaise is well and truly entrenched but there is hope as some auto drivers are feeling bad about this unfair practice and are willing to be pro-active in resolving this problem.
Here are some of the responses
Sheik Mohaideen Gama Amanullah says' I had very bad and some good experiences with auto drivers and fares..

Incident 1 : 
Route : Tambaram Station to Camp Road Junction
I told the auto driver that the destination 
is a street next to a gas agency. he sad the fare is Rs.80/- . I agreed and didt even bargained at all. he stopped the auto in front of the gas agency and asked me to drop down, i said drop me in next street, he replied " Pay Rs.20 Extra/- . I got angry and said i will pay 60 instead. He started shouting at me . I called up a policeman who were standing nearby, he warned that auto driver and i paid Rs.50 finally . 

incident 2 : 
Route : RA puram to Guindy
I was in hurry to catch my bus to hometown and got into an auto. the driver was very old and he said fare is Rs. 60 . I was surprised. . . when i dropped down I gave him 80 instead. He was refused to take that extra 20 rupees and also that guy gifted me a small THIRUKKURAL BOOK. He is been gifting a small thirukural book to all his travellers for free. I asked him how come you can be able to charge lesser ? .. He said simply "I am getting more profit in whatever i charge !, work is god sir".. Royal salute to that man. 

Another solution offered is as follows
What can an idea do? A lot, if you get support from the right quarters. One such idea appears to be emerging, as transport experts agree that a technology-assisted autorickshaw network may be able to satisfy the commuters and the auto drivers on a judicious fare structure. 
The original idea came from Nirmal Kumar, a graduate in Ahmedabad, in 2009. N
irmal set up a call centre, something like that of a call taxi network. The company then developed a software that can track the location of mobile phones of auto drivers. Whenever a commuter called, the auto driver in the vicinity of the closest mobile tower was sent a text message about the location of the caller to be picked up. This brought down dead mileage and increased income. “Each day, an auto driver gets an income of around 600 after spending 300 on fuel, maintenance and EMIs,” said Kumar.
“We formed a network, a brand,” he said. G-Auto was born with 1,000-odd autoricshaws. “People will know that with G-Autos, there will be no haggling or fleecing,” he added. Now, there are 10,000 G-Autos in Gujarat, 6,000 of them in Ahmedabad.
The Gujarat government set the fares at 11 minimum for 1.2km and 8 per km. Here, auto drivers unions are looking at 30 as minimum for 2km and Rs 15 per km there on.

So the fire is lit and to those who want to get involved the campaign site is as follows.
 The least one can do is to append a signature to support this cause.

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