Thursday, December 27, 2007

Auto Rickshaw

This Times of India photo shows auto rickshaws waiting in line to get digital fare meters installed. December 31, 2007 is the last date after which they will be fined if they don't have digital meters. According to a court order this should have been done by Dec 2006! However, as things stand in India, the auto rickshaw drivers unions protested and dragged out things till now. The auto rickshaw is used by many in most Indian cities because public transport such as buses are not convenient or are too crowded. The new digital meters are supposed to be tamper proof, but some auto rickshaw drivers themselves say that they are not. Auto rickshaw drivers all over India are known for using tampered meters, charging exhorbitatnt rates. Now that they are legally forced to install digital meters, which will show not only the fare but also the distance traveled, the auto rickshaw drivers want their minimum fare and the fare per kilometre increased quite a bit!! These auto rickshaws, called 'auto' for short, are chartered to ferry school kids back and forth to school. According to law maximum 6 kids can be seated (crammed) into these autos, but it is common to see 9 or more hanging out, which has been responsible for many an accident. Policemen are stationed near the schools to fine auto drivers if they carry more than 6 kids, but the auto drivers "outsmart" the police by dropping off the excess kids a little distance away from the school. This tendency of skirting the law can be seen in pretty much all aspects of life here, but most of all in traffic rules. The autos have different color schemes in different cities. You can read a lot more details about the autos here.

A variation of the auto rickshaw is the tuk-tuk, which plies in Thailand. Some foreigners who come to India like the auto rickshaw so much that they buy one to take home! If you are the adventurous type, you may want to participate in the Indian Autorickshaw Challenge.

For language enthusiasts, as mentioned in my World Tourism Day blog entry, the word
rickshaw is short from Japanese jinrikisha. jin = man, riki = power, sha = carriage.

"We cannot solve out problems with the same level of thinking that created them." -Albert Einstein


Sandy said...

We have the same problem here with taxis, they can be tampered with. There's been an expose' on it in the last few months.

Enjoyed your post.

thanks for your visit.


Neva said...

I love reading your blog...I learn so much about where you live! Traffic rules seem to be broken wherever people live ....sometimes it is not a big deal. The traffic where you are makes traffic here seem like nothing!
I wish you a very Happy New Year and thank you for sharing your blog and visiting mine. I look forward to more visits in 2008!

Radman said...

Great pic, nice commentary. Happy new year.

Web-OJ said...

Goodness. Look at that line.

macky said...

Happy New Year from Tokyo

Your blog is very informative!!

By the way, our rickshaw for sightseeing is seen at the following post:

Have a nice day

from macky