Andhra Pradesh: Cabs burn a hole in your pocket during night rides

Lack of autos at night, cabs charge double the amount.

Visakhapatnam: Night shift employees and passengers commuting late night in the city have to shell out more money as they don’t find a city bus or auto rickshaw after 11 pm. They have to depend on private taxis, Ola and Uber cabs that charge three-times more than the normal charges during the odd hours.

Naveen Kumar, a native of Chennai, was waiting for an auto-rickshaw at 1.30 am near Sagar Nagar to go to railway station. He waited for an hour and booked a cab when he could’nt get an auto. He spent around Rs 450 for the ride, while an auto would have charged Rs 100 for the same.

B. Hemanth, a customer service executive at HSBC, stays till 4 am at the office though his shift gets over by 2 am. The office transportation has been arranged at 2 am along with other employees. “Earlier, I used to see autos standing at the nearest Siripuram Junction at 2 am also. Nowadays, I can hardly get an auto on these roads during late night. Cabs don’t come towards our area even if I am ready to pay double charge. As I don’t know how to drive a vehicle, office conveyance is the only option left out for me,” he said.

City buses stop moving by 10.30 pm. Cabs also don’t travel to certain areas during night time. Other than railway station and RTC complex, autos were not seen at other places during late night, even in the busy areas like Jagadamba Junction, Gurudwara, Maddilapalem and Gajuwaka.

When asked about the non-availability of autos at night, AP auto-drivers and Workers Federation general secretary Mr Vamana Murthy said that local drivers have been facing a number of issues due to which they were unable to go for night rides. “Auto drivers have been harassed by the cops in the late hours. They were suspected for every crime that happened in their locality. Recently, there was a theft at a house in Madhavadhara. An auto-driver standing in that area was taken into police custody for three days. Though he was proved innocent, a petty case has been filed on him,” Murthy informed.

He further said that police constables and home guards are not supposed to check the papers of the vehicles in the absence of an inspector. In areas like Dwarakanagar and Akkayyapalem, the constables stop the autos and threaten the drivers.

According to the police officials, 90 per cent of the autos in the city don’t have insurance policies and pollution certificates. They don’t stop these autos during day time as the passengers suffer delays while the driver’s papers are verified. So, they check them thoroughly at night.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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