With prices touching new heights, those residing or working in Kharghar and having to use autorickshaws as a regular mode of transport are a sorry lot indeed.
Reason? Auto fares in Kharghar are exorbitant as compared to Mumbai and Thane. While the minimum auto fare in Mumbai is Rs 15, it is Rs 20 in Kharghar as rickshaws run on petrol and not CNG.
The auto rickshaw drivers also have a fixed fare for a specific route on which they refuse to travel by meter.
Adding to the starting price, the auto drivers also charge exorbitant amounts the moment they realise that the commuter is new to the area. They also refuse commuters wanting to travel a short distance.
All these tricks of the auto drivers are making life hell for Kharghar residents and burning a big hole in their pockets.
Many office-goers catch trains that arrive between 7.30 am to 7.45 am to CST or Thane. Since the auto drivers act pricy and take a long time to negotiate, several miss these trains and end up changing from Nerul or Sanpada.
As a result, they reach their offices late and end up losing half or one day’s salary or leave as per company’s policy.
Defending their stand, auto driver Vikas Patil said, “We charge people according to the meter, but for some routes we have a set amount. Here the minimum fare is Rs 20 as we have petrol rickshaws and not CNG. We take short distance passengers.”
On the other hand, Kedar Sahas, a resident of Kharghar said, “Every day I travel by auto and the drivers always demand unreasonable fares. Several times have I taken them to cops but the only time I got some relief was when I had taken an auto driver to the Nerul Police Station. Otherwise, Kharghar police are most reluctant to even file a case. RTO in Kharghar is not to be seen. There is no one to regulate these people.”