Hyderabad: Passengers arriving at Kacheguda Railway station have a tough time hiring an autorickshaw as the prepaid stand is empty with almost no autorickshaws.
The rate at the prepaid stand from Kacheguda station to Begumpet would cost only Rs 140 but the auto drivers charge between Rs 260 and Rs 280.
Passengers have called for a systematic transport service at Kacheguda Railway station on the lines of Secunderabad Railway station, where the prepaid stand operates very systematically. The same service should be brought to Kacheguda Railway station as it would make the auto drivers more accountable.
According to passengers, there should be an inspector under whose supervision people should be given tokens and if the autodriver flouts the rules, he should be penalised with hefty fines, seizure of vehicle or his licence cancelled. Passengers say that if this system is put in place, the auto drivers would stop looting the people.
Mr P. Sudhakar, a resident of Kundanbagh, who waited for half-an-hour to get an autorickshaw at Kacheguda Railway station recently, told this newspaper, “Many passengers who arrive at the station wait patiently with luggage along with their family to hire autos. With none available in the pre-paid track, the passengers are forced to hire one available outside the pre-paid stand and risk paying exorbitant rates.”
“There is no coordination between the traffic police and autorickshaw drivers here. The prepaid auto stand is empty with almost no service and the autos are encircled in their own comfort zone and they don’t care even if the police are present or for the public,” he said.
Mr Sudhakar said, “The autorickshaw drivers have formed a cartel at the railway station and are looting people’s money at their own will. Nobody is questioning them nor are the authorities taking any action against. When I asked a policeman he said he was helpless.”
“We have no rights to take action on them as we are friendly police and all we can do is watch them and request them to go. They are charging as per the sheet but the service is useless as no autorickshaw driver is interested in the prepaid service”. The result is passengers giving into the driver’s terms and shelling out more money.”
Another passenger said, “Tired of waiting for an autorickshaw, people leave the pre-paid stand after some time. Most of the passengers use the services of Uber or Ola as they have to rush home and get ready for office. There is no public transport service at that station and it’s like dadagiri outside the station.
Mr Sathi Reddy, general secretary, Telangana Auto Drivers Association, said, “Hundreds of passengers come out from the railway station every few minutes. So the auto drivers just take whichever passenger they get instead of waiting at the prepaid stand. Auto drivers may not get anything by just waiting at the pre-paid auto stand, if there are very few passengers or if there are no takers for prepaid autos. That is the reason why the pre-paid tracks are seen empty.”
“Also, the metre rates for autorickshaws had not been revised for the past few years due to which auto drivers are facing financial problems,” Mr Reddy argued....