Dial-an-auto service turns out to be a damp squib

Jul 04, 2013, 07:48 IST | Salil Urunkar

Despite the scheme not taking off in many parts of the city, officials say that autorickshaw drivers are finally earning a decent amount of money due to the initiative

Dial-an-auto services in the city are finding it hard to sustain the laid-back approach of authorities. Lack of capital investment, driver training, management and awareness are the main reasons for the scheme failing.

Support from autorickshaw unions and government authorities and departments is needed for the dial-an-auto schemes to be successful. Also, funding for the pilot project period is also essential, say experts from the industry.

Still in first gear: Support from autorickshaw unions is needed for the dial-an-auto scheme to be successful. Representation pic

Mukesh Jha, director of Ubida solutions, which runs the Autowale.in service, said, “Call dropping and waiting period are the main concerns while running the service. Punekars have a laidback approach which is a big barrier for scaling our service.”

“Barring few areas like Aundh, Baner, Wakad, Pimple Saudagar, Vimannagar there’s not much response from other parts of the city. Most of the enquiries come from corporate boards,” he said.

“Local entrepreneurship development and driver labour management should be given priority. If auto unions support such initiatives, it would help passengers to have a safe ride,” Jha added.

On the other hand, dial-an-auto scheme has benefited some drivers enormously. Drivers have defined work hours and also ply their autos independently beyond schedule. Many of them now earn about Rs 1,400 per day,” said Jha.

Treasurer of Pune City Autorickshaw Federation Bapu Bhave said, “We were called for a meeting about the dial-an-auto initiative but nothing happened. If anyone approaches us we are willing to share phone numbers of auto drivers.”

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