Time and again the situation on the ground remains same. The transport department although claims that they have taken action against the errant taxi operators in the state, the bitter truth is that these taxi operators keep fleecing the general public, tourists and others with exorbitant taxi rates. When the taxi rates in almost all the states are of order of Rs. 7-8 per km.
These taxi operators generally charge Rs 10 per km. It doesn’t matter whether you are hiring a maruti alto as a taxi or Tata sumo. The rates remains same. Further they have made their sector rates. For instance, they are charging as much as Rs. 150-200 from Hamirpur bus stand to NIT campus. The distance is hardly 3 km. Whether that is justified? The transport department must take stringent action and impound the taxis of all such errant operators.
I also faced a similar situation last year and complained about the same to directorate of transport, Himachal Pradesh. Subsequently, I did receive couple of replies from the department. But the action on ground is missing. For instance, the taxi rates should be approved by the department and they should be displayed on the website. A 24 hour police helpline (through phone) should be there to help the users/general public and tourists against these errant taxi operators. All this is missing. Otherwise such incidents will be a daily affair.
Hundreds of students of the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Hamirpur, today held a protest against the alleged repeated beating of students by some local taxi drivers.
The students marched from the NIT campus towards the SP office raising slogans against the taxi drivers. However, they were persuaded by the police not to proceed further from Anu Chowk assuring them action against the culprits.
The students took this step after alleged repeated beating of some students by the taxi drivers on Friday and Sunday nights.
Narrating the incidents, students said, â€œAbout 12 taxi drivers mercilessly beat up one of the students, injuring him seriously after an altercation over fare to the NIT campus on Friday night. Again two other students were beaten up on Sunday night over the same issue.â€
They alleged, â€œThe taxi drivers, stationed at the local bus stand, act in the most highhanded manner and fleece the students by overcharging them reach the campus during the late hours from their native places. As there is no other mode to reach the campus, the taxi drivers have been using strong-arm tactics in case of any complaint.â€
The students alleged, â€œA taxi service was started by the HRTC at the Hamirpur bus stand some time ago, but was withdrawn under pressure of the taxi drivers.â€
On the other hand, the taxi drivers accused the NIT students for damaging three taxis.
The police has arrested eight taxi drivers and impounded five vehicles.
The arrested taxi drivers are Vinod Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Balbir, Pradeep Chauhan, Sunil Kumar of Sarahkad village, Sunil Kumar of Masyana village, Sunil Kumar of Kalanjahadi, and Vikas.
Hamirpur SP Kuldeep Sharma said, â€œThe police has arrested eight taxi drivers and registered cases against them. I will take up the matter of fixing the local taxi fares with the RTO.â€
Director NIT Dr RL Sharma said, â€œThe taxi drivers have been charging exorbitant fares from the students and using strong arm tactics and we have taken up this issue with the district administration, besides demanding fixing of taxi fares.â€
Courtesy: The Tribune
Born in Bilaspur, Dr. Vatsayayan is Professor and Head of the Aerospace Engineering Department at IIT, Mumbai, India.