Auto rickshaw drivers looting passengers in Jammu
Jammu, Nov 16: The auto rickshaw transport in Jammu is looting people, especially tourists and pilgrims coming from outside state while ferrying them to different parts of the city.
These auto rickshaw drivers charge 200 to 300 times more than the actual fare and people having no knowledge about the city get trapped in their net. Up to three kilometers they charge around Rs 250 to 300 which is very high from the actual fare. There is no rate list pasted on any of the auto rickshaws in Jammu and they run their vehicles on their own whims and get away with it. Tourists and pilgrims coming from outside Jammu and Kashmir having no other option get trapped and pay higher rates.
The J&K transport department long time back had ordered installment of meters on every auto rickshaw and were also put in place but auto drivers do not use them.
They have simply made these meters non-functional. This has led to loot in the city of temples where every day thousands of pilgrims and tourists reach from other parts of the country .
“When I tried to hire an auto rickshaw at Jammu Tawi railway station and enquired the fare up to Raghunath bazar, the auto driver jumped to Rs 250. I hired auto outside the railway stationarea where I paid only Rs 100,” said Anil Kumar. Every year, more than 10 million pilgrims visit Mata Vaishno Devi shrine at Trikuta Hills of Shivalik range of mountains in Katra town of Jammu region. Most of these pilgrims take train route and board auto rickshaws to reach bus stand and hotels.
They are being looted by these auto rickshaw drivers and nobody is there to help them. “When these auto rickshaws reach regional transport office for passing, there meters are fine and even if some meters are not working, auto rickshaw owners are imposed fine,” said an employee of RTO Jammu. He, however showed ignorance of not being aware of the loot outside on roads and said that they will look into the matter.
Regional Transport Office hasissued auto-rickshaw fares as per distance one has to hire a three-wheeler.
According to a press statement of the Motor Vehicles Department, Rs 17 has been fixed as fare payable for first kilometer and Rs 13 is chargeable for subsequent kilometers.
Further, waiting charges have been set as Rs 25 per hour, while as there will be luggage charges up to 25kgs and beyond that 25 percent of the applicable fare shall be charged.