The other day, when I was in T Nagar, I was feeling a bit bored to walk to a bus stop , hence, wanted to return in an Auto. But when the three Auto drivers I approached demanded Rs 130 to 150 for a distance of 8 KMs,(against the Govt fixed rate of Rs 50 ) , I decided to walk a few meters , caught a bus and came home at just Rs 5/- .
While traveling in the bus, my thoughts were on Autos in Chennai ; Why the Auto drivers behaved this way in Chennai? The more I thought about it, the more enlightened I became while understanding the great service the Auto drivers are doing to various sections of the society in Chennai.
You may like to know how . Read on –
1) Service to the middle class people : If all the drivers are honest and charged correctly the Govt rate, then each Auto will definitely get additional 5/6 passengers per day . Assuming each passenger travels a distance of 5/6 Kms, the revenue of each Auto will go up by Rs 200 per day. As there are 50000 Autos in Chennai, the total additional revenue will work out to Rs 1 Cr per day and Rs 30 Cr per month. But, because of the attitude of Auto drivers, they lose this revenue and their loss is the gain to the middle class of Chennai, as they are the predominant users of Autos . They, instead spend only Rs 3 Cr per month on bus travel ( Bus fare is approximately 10%, or less of the Auto fare ) . So, the net saving for them is Rs 27 Cr which is not a small amount given the current high inflation. A great service to the Middle class, isn’t?
2)Service to State Transport : As said above , the State Transport earns a revenue of Rs 3 Cr which would not have come to them, had the Auto drivers been honest. Remember, they may not be able to reduce the bus numbers or trips because, the number of additional Auto users , when translated to per bus, per trip, will not work out to more than 15/20 ( Assuming 3000 buses and 10 trips per bus). So this is a clear gain to STU and they should be grateful to the Autos.
3)Service to the Govt/Nation: For making the additional 5/6 trips of 5/6 Km’s each- an additional 30/35 Kms- ( as said in point 1 above) ,each auto will consume about 1.25 lr of Petrol/ diesel and this works out to 18 Lacs litres of fuel per month ( for all the 50000 Autos ). With Oil import prices soaring and given the high subsidy the Govt incurs on sale of petrol/diesel, this is a huge saving to the Govt. Precious Foreign Exchange is also saved .
4)Service to Police: The police must be doubly thankful to Auto drivers for the present state of affairs. Firstly, It is a known secret that Autos ‘fly’ when they have passengers and ‘crawl’ when they don’t have a passenger. So, if they have to make additional trips, there will be more flying at higher speeds, putting the life of many other road users to a very high risk. Naturally there will be more accidents and hence more work for the police. Secondly, if they are honest, from whom the police will get their extra income ? Thus the Auto drivers not only reduce the workload of Police, they also help them for their extra income.
5) Service to the Newspapers: We regularly see big newspaper columns on the statements (read jokes) of the State ministers, police officials, RTO officials etc on the steps they are taking to make Autos adhere to the Govt stipulations and the actions they are taking against erring Autos. If the Autos are honest, newspapers will find it hard to fill a lot of space now being occupied by the statements, the reporters’ stories, and letters to the editors on the atrocities of Autos . In the absence of such juicy stories, the newspaper circulation may also take a beating.
6) Service to the general Public of Chennai : If the Autos are honest, Chennai will be a big attraction to the visitors. If we have to believe Govt officials, the honest Autos will encourage more tourists to Chennai. If this happens and if there are more tourists, the cost of living for the general public is bound to go up . Now they can live in peace, relatively ,I mean.
Long Live the Autos in Chennai and Long Live the Auto drivers !!