Three-wheelers becoming popular in Chennai

November 14th, 2007 - 2:46 am ICT by admin  
Chennai, Oct.24 (ANI): People in Chennai have started patronising three-wheelers or auto-rickshaws.

Auto-rickshaws save time, are considered safe, and take passengers to the doorstep of their destination.

“I have travelled in buses for a long time. But with increased traffic it is difficult to reach the office on time. Travelling by auto-rickshaws is a good choice,” said Suresh, a passenger.

There are many reasons that prompt passengers to opt for auto-rickshaws.

Autos are convenient, and the rates between buses and the share-autos are almost the same, claim auto-rickshaw drivers.

“Buses are usually crowded. Ladies wear jewellery which remains unsafe in such buses. The rates in the buses and share auto rickshaws — where one has to pay for his seat only– are the same. But in autos one can enjoy the journey while seated. It is convenient,” said Purushotaman, an auto rickshaw driver.

Auto drivers say that they have no problem charging according to the meter than take ‘fixed’ fares, provided the Government approves the fare structure suggested by them.

Chennai Auto Rickshaws Association has asked to the government to fix Rs.15 as the minimum fare and Rs.7 for every additional kilometre.

“Recently, a decision has been taken to fix auto-fares. The Chennai police is working along with the Transport Department to check and ensure that the auto drivers abide by the stated rates. We keep on carrying out inspection drives,” said Sunil Kumar, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) and City Traffic Commissioner.

“Recently, a drive against the auto drivers who were over charging or over carrying more than the permitted number of persons was launched and we are pursuing it,” Sunil Kumar added.

“Over 500 autos have been impounded by traffic police and Transport Department in 10 days time. This exercise is only for the benefit of the public”, Kumar further added.

There are over 50,000 auto rickshaws in Chennai operating on valid permits.

Moreover, the presence of such a big number of auto-rickshaws has led to a major growth in the sector of auto spare parts and other related services.

With an estimated population of 7.5 million (2007), it is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India and one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.

In 2001, Chennai’s population density was 24,682 per km (9,534 per mi), while the population density of the metropolitan area was 5,922 per km (2,287 mi), making it one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

Established in 17th century by the British, Chennai city was developed into a major urban centre and naval base. By the 12th century, it had become an important administrative centre, as the capital of the Madras Presidency.

Chennai’s economy has a broad industrial base in the automobile, technology, hardware manufacturing, and healthcare industries and the city is home to much of India’s automobile industry. (ANI)

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