SRINAGAR: In order to curb overcharging by auto-rickshaw drivers in Srinagar city, the Regional Transport Officer Kashmir has urged the public to use Google Maps to check their travel distance and pay according to the rates set by the transport department. Several complaints have been received about drivers overcharging passengers without justification.
According to Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, a rate list is readily available on the transport department’s website. For the first 2 kilometres, commuters should pay Rs 39 to the auto-rickshaw driver, and after that, the driver can charge Rs 17 per kilometre. “In this era of technology, it is not difficult for people to assert their rights. Commuters can simply use Google Maps to monitor travel distance,” said Bukhari.
There are over 3500 auto-rickshaws in the city, making it challenging for the RTO Kashmir to hold drivers accountable on a daily basis. “Before taking a seat in an auto-rickshaw, commuters should check the travel distance. Google Maps will assist them, and they should pay based on the total distance travelled. For example, when travelling from Dalgate to Lal Bazaar, use Google Maps to determine the distance and pay the driver accordingly,” Bukhari said.
Any violations by auto drivers can be reported to the Regional Transport Office, and action will be taken, said Bukhari. While there is a proposal to install meters in autos, the use of Google Maps is the best option for commuters in the absence of a fare meter, he added. “I appeal to the public to make use of technology, know about the distance they travel, pay Rs 39 for the first 2 kilometres, and add Rs 17 for subsequent kilometres. Education is key, and the general public must assert their rights,” Bukhari concluded. [KNT]