It is a unusual, but Transport Minister K.N.Nehru has flagged off a fleet of autorickshaws that are distinctively coloured, carry markings to indicate that they are “tourist-friendly,” and the drivers even speak some English. But more important, they promise to abide by fare rules, which is something of a wonder in Dravidianland.
The funny part is that Sun News today quoted the Minister as stating that these autorickshaws had given an undertaking that they would ply by meter. This is a Ministerial admission of the DMK Government’s inability to ensure meter-based operations for the 99 per cent of Chennai autorickshaws.
The same government, along with others in various states, that opposes a petrol price hike. But even with controlled petrol price, Mr. Karunanidhi’s government is unable to provide a reliable, rule-based service in Chennai.
We are now told that these autorickshaws alone will run by meter, although that is strange because the problem then is not one of economics, but some extraneous factor.
Could it be that most of the autorickshaw owners are bold enough to defy the law, because they have someone to support them?
Or is the DMK Government subsidising these “tourist-friendly” autorickshaws?
Will Mr. Nehru please enlighten the travelling public of Chennai?