Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Taxi drivers fleece passengers

Taxi drivers fleece passengers
Bangalore, DHNS:
At Cantonment railway station, half the taxi drivers affiliated to the Bangalore and Airport Taxi Drivers Union joined the strike while the others chose to exploit the situation by fleecing passengers. Even those who took part in the strike carried on their business on the sly between 4 am and 7 am.

A senior software engineer at Accenture Rajesh, and his family were asked to pay Rs 275 to reach their house at Kalyan Nagar. After much bargaining they settled down for Rs 200. “We usually pay only Rs 150 for this trip,” they said. “All taxis are on strike today and we are taking a risk of co-strikers smashing our window panes for plying. So, do not think so much for paying a little extra,” said one of the taxi drivers. Raghuram, an employee at Alcatel Lucent was asked Rs 400 plus luggage charges to reach his residence at HSR Lay out. He finally decided to take an auto and pay Rs 150, though the usual auto fare came to Rs 125.

At airport
At the HAL Airport, however, passengers continued to have a tough time as all transport and taxi facilities remained off-road. Barring the autorickshaw services there were no other means of transport for them. A few passengers were seen availing private transport services which operated outside the airport premises.

Around 210 pre-paid KSTDC taxi cabs and 60 cabs affiliated to the Bangalore and Airport Taxi Owners Association remained off-road till the strike was called off.

A writ petition on speed governors, filed by a few associations of lorry owners and bus operators, came up before a single judge of the High Court on Tuesday. South India Lorry Owners Association, Canara Bus Operators Association of Mangalore and Co-operative Transport Organisations of Koppa, Chikkamagalur district have petitioned against mandatory installation of speed governors for old commercial transport vehicles. .

Petitioners’ counsel Sundarraj Gupta contended before Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri that there was glaring differences on the prices of speed governor equipment in Karnataka and other States. However, after noticing that a PIL on the same issue was pending before a Division Bench, the single judge directed HC Registry to transfer the case to the same Division Bench.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing before the Division Bench this week itself.


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