Prepaid auto service at rly station, airport in limbo

Jul 18, 2012, 07:03 IST | Sukirt D. Gumaste

RTO says it's waiting for written permission from rly officials, needs new plot near airport as allotted one in dispute

Lack of coordination between the Regional Transport Office (RTO) and the Pune Railway Division has put the implementation of the prepaid rickshaw system at Pune railway station and Pune airport in limbo. 

Not serving its purpose: A prepaid rickshaw booth at Pune railway station is being used by the traffic police as a help centre. Constables deployed here ensure that auto drivers do not fleece passengers. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

“We have completed the entire procedure from our side and are waiting for consent in writing from the railway authorities,” RTO officer Arun Yeola said. “The proposed area for the prepaid rickshaw booth at airport is disputed land, hence we have demanded a fresh plot.” Railway spokesperson Y K Singh said that they haven’t received any letter or document from the RTO, requesting permission for starting the prepaid rickshaw system.

“The railway is ready to provide space for prepaid rickshaw stands. But for that the RTO should at least inform the railway.”  The prepared rickshaw system was supposed to be implemented from June 15. The system was formed following an in-depth study on the fare structure by the RTO. The RTO had even collaborated with an NGO for the purpose.

“With the co-operation of CFIT, the entire fare structure was computerised. Every area of the city has a specific fare that will be generated by specialised software before every journey. From commuters’ point of view, the system is full of advantages. It will help curb problem of refusals. Commuters will get safe and confirmed service,” Yeola said.

He said that rickshaw drivers will be given identity cards and their details will be stored in the computer. Rickshaw Panchayat, an autorickshaw union, was appointed to provide service at the airport Yeola. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishawas Pandhare said the department had asked the RTO office to expedite the matter and equip the existing booths — at Pune Railway Station and Swargate bus stand — with the required system for operating prepaid rickshaw service.

“The RTO officer has assured us that their office will soon start the process,” he said Currently, these booths are being used as traffic police help centres and the constables deployed at the booths are ensuring that rickshaw drivers do not refuse fare and fleece passengers. Traffic Constable Mangesh Neman, posted at the railway station booth, said passengers new to the city approach them to enquire about the prepaid rickshaw service as they feel that auto drivers might fleece them. But are left disappointed after learning about the non-availability of prepaid auto rickshaw service in the city.

Fare structure for prepaid rickshaws
>> From Pune railway station, minimum fare for a distance of 2 km will be charged with a 30 per cent incentive and a service charge of Rs 5. The minimum fare will be approximately Rs 32. This will prove beneficial for auto drivers plying short distances as well

>> From the airport, minimum fare for a distance of 4 km will be charged with 30 per cent incentive and Rs 5 as service charge 

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