Srinagar, Feb 5: Commuters in Srinagar on Monday expressed their concern regarding the alleged overcharging by electric autos operating on the streets of the capital city.
The commuters alleged that the fare charged by electric-auto drivers is similar to those of petrol-run autos despite low running costs.
The electric autos charged the same as the local petrol autos,” Arbeena Mir, a commuter from Baghat said. “This is insane. How can they charge the same amount when there is a huge difference between their running costs,” she said, adding that transport authorities must come up with a different rate list for E-autos.
“I once booked an electric auto and he charged me Rs 250 for 5km,” Mir said. “Similarly on another occasion I was charged 150 for from Ganta Ghar to Baghat Chowk.”
Mir said that she spoke to the electric auto drivers about the rates but they provided lame excuses such as ‘Why do you ask such questions?’ and ‘We do not run autos free of costs’
Firdous Ahmed Bazaz, a resident of B.K Pora, said that he fails to understand why the government has not come up with a separate list for E-autos.
“I own an electric scooter myself, and its running costs are not more than Rs. 2 per kilometer, even if I estimate the electricity cost at 4 rupees per unit,” Bazaz said. “The electric autos have a 7.5 kWh lithium-ion battery and it will cost a maximum of Rs 40 to charge it from zero to one hundred percent,” he said adding, E-autos provide a mileage of around 75-85 kilometers on one complete charge.
Syed Shahnawaz Bukhari, the Regional Transport Officer, stated that his department has not yet received any such complaints.
“The department can only take action upon receiving grievances or complaints from the general public against specific auto drivers as we can generalise it,” Bukhari said. “If people have such grievances then they must report them to us via grievances cell portal provided by the government or reach us directly and only then can we address those specific issues,” he said, adding, that the department considers such cases only as “allegations” till the accused driver is also heard and if proven, appropriate action under law is taken against the guilty driver. (KNO)