Auto drivers of Kolkata are not even bothered by the high court or minister order. They are continuing with their old work of charging fare as much as they want to, or carrying extra passengers or running petrol auto. They have even challenged the minister saying, “We don’t care about any leader or minister. We will charge fare as much as we want. Do what you want if you have the guts.”
Want to know the ‘discipline’ of auto drivers? Take a look on the following:
On Monday, after a meeting with Auto control department officials, transport minister Subhendu Adhikary proclaimed, “I assure you that no auto driver will charge more than actual fare. Check it, they have already stopped to charge more.” In this context, the minister mentioned a specific route.
And when you actually check for the route you will know that a month ago, the fare of the route were raised and it remains the same. Autodrivers said that the union is with them. So they won’t reduce the rate.
It is not only about that specific route, all the other parts of Kolkata contains the same image. A few days ago, Rubi more to Ballygung station auto route fare was jumped to Rs.12. It remains still now. From Saltlake karunamayi to Ultadanga station route fair was allegedly increased from Rs.12 to Rs.15. 14 no. tank to Ultadanga station and Beleghata bypass connector to Baishakhi more fare is increased from Rs.15 to Rs.20. Daily passenger said that though the fare from Sovabazar to Ultadanga is 10 rupees but in traffic jam they charge 15 rupees. Auto drivers’ argument that, if they get stuck in traffic they faces loss.
According to the transport department heads, the real reason for this situation is the increasing Union. Mamata Bannerjee is in no comments mode for this situation.
In the last few months, accident reports are not quite little in Chapadali-Jassore road, Chapadali-Taki road routes. On Wednesday, an auto-bus accident killed 1 person at Duttapukur Jassore road. The auto drivers of Chapadali stand don’t even care after this incident.
The drivers of that route carries more passengers than the capacity of the auto. Auto runs with 6 or 7 persons over the dilapidated Taki road with dangerous way.
Not only the auto drivers but the TMC labor organization who controls the auto transportation don’t bothered by the allegation. Additional Superintendent of Police Abhijit Banerjee’s claimed, “We are often round up autos who take additional passengers. However, we will take strong steps”
Barasat Jessore Road Auto Association secretary Rabiul Islam said, “It takes 6-7 months to meet the cost of a bank loan. They will fill the fuel. Drivers takes passengers in a hope to gain extra money.”
A passenger of Rajpur-Garia was asked by a auto driver that if he would go down at Garia metro or go to Garia more. The reason of the question was the other side of the Garia bridge is under control by the Kolkata police, this side is controlled by West Bengal police. The Kolkata police is strict about the petrol autos they comes back from the metro station. But his auto was colored as the gas auto in yellow-green. But if you scrutinize the auto you will know that it is not a LPG auto.
Not only Rajpur, Garia, if you cross the Kolkata police area you will see the petrol autos in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Nadia and Hoogly. It is not from the petrol pump at all, they use ‘kata tel’ which causes pollution more.
To prevent environment pollution, Kolkata high court in 2008 ordered to seize all petrol autos and to run LPG autos in Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA). KMA area consists 37 municipalities of Kolkata, Bidhannagar, Howrah, Chandannagar corporation, the two 24 parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Nadia. But except Kolkata, Howrah police are and Bidhannagar, petrol auto runs in every other KMA area.
In this no industry state, auto is one of the ways to generate revenue. Therefore the government do not want to rage ‘autoraj’ to sustain vote bank. But the responsibility goes to the government. So they should take strict action.