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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hope 'Namma Auto' stands upto its promises

I don’t travel much by auto …. ~ many of my friends have narrated some tale of  woe when travelling by an auto in Chennai metropolis; unfortunately most of the users carry a feeling that they were fleeced and not properly treated…….  I had recently posted of the ‘Wayanad Auto drivers fight for right to wear 'mundu' ~ something on 'patta patti' attire…  a few days earlier, I had posted about my pleasant auto  experience in Thiruvananthapuram which  drew many response from my friends.  On that day at Trivandrum, the auto driver initially asked for a pittance and surprised me upon reaching destination by telling that the distance was much shorter and hence I need to pay a bit less………..   read that earlier post….Trivandrum auto


If you are a regular reader of Tamil magazines, till few years ago ‘joke on soodu meter’ hogged the limelight. Those days, auto drivers used to turn on the meter with a twinging sound ~ there were stories of faulty meters [tampering colloquially called ‘soodu’] – which would show much higher that what they should be.. some used to say that it worked on the system of toothed pinion wheels and some abrasion would make it jump thereby increasing it manifold….. now magazines no longer carry such jokes…. Not because system is perfect but because mostly none believes / utlilises the meters.

Suddenly Chennai is buzzing with ‘Namma Auto’ – an initiative aimed at providing the passenger comfort without bargaining…. Without being cynical, let us hope that it becomes a success, which sure would benefit the Chennai commuter.  The available news in its website states that Namma Auto is established with the aim of providing comprehensive and dedicated service to the customers. Namma Auto is an auto for hire and provides cheap and efficient transportation to the customers. A service that would outshine existing competition of a customer oriented approach.

It claims that Namma Auto drivers would bencourteous and professional to commuters and that it would provide reliable and sustainable public transport with affordable fixed auto fares. That these autos would have Govt approved meter and would charge minimal auto fares as approved.  There would also be centralized computer GPS tracking system and Panic button for ensure safety mode of transport; there would be a call centre as well to be the  backbone support for Auto drivers as well as Passengers. All Namma Auto vehicles will have a big bright yellow board on top so commuters can easily identify them.  It claims that it will charge : Rs.25/- as minimum for distance up to 2 km and Rs.10 per every extra km.

It is not to be a ‘call auto’ but would be available in every other stand with a yellow board on top.  The initiative sounds sensible and music to the ear of Chennai’s muddled travellers……… hope it provides all the comfort that it is claiming to offer now.

According to its website, the operations are to be inaugurated by 6th June 2013.


With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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