Thursday, January 05, 2006


The Worst Auto Drivers

The world's worst auto drivers seem to be in Alwaye - a suburb of Kochi. Always is a Municipality and the ``heart of the town'' is hardly 3 or 4 square kilometers. I was passing through Alwaye last week and on finding the next train is good one and half hour later, decided to go to the Highway from railway station to catch a ``superfast'' bus. Long distance buses in Kerala are monopoly of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, and their ``superfast'' buses do not (rightly) enter Alwaye. So I was forced to catch an auto from the railway station to the highway, where the superfast buses stop for people going to and from Alwaye.

uto are three wheeled, and with an overpowered engine, light weight and easy maneuverability, are easily ``misguided missiles'' on wheels. They provide service which is equivalent to taxis, and in most Indian cities, you will be using them for travelling short distances.

Like taxi drivers all over the world, the auto drivers in most cities India enjoy a varied degree of popularity. In some cities, they are well known for their courtesy and helpfulness. Auto drivers in certain cities are notorious for their usuriousness. While most people regard autos in Southern Kerala as worse off than in Northern districts, those in Alwaye certainly take the cake.

The fare structure for Autos is regulated by the Government, and the minimum charge for one and half kilometers is currently Rupees 8.00. The auto I hired demanded Rs. 15/- for a 1.2 KM trip. That is not bad, compared to the Rs. 10/- I had to pay for travelling a distance of less than one kilometer from the ATM to the Railway Station a few days before.

It is not just auto drivers' mistake alone.

Just calculate his expenses, one litre of petrol alone costs Rs. 50.
If he uses LPG for his auto then it is around Rs. 450 for a cylinder which almost half the size of the domestic cylinders we use in our homes.

It is easy to blame these auto drivers, just try to think from their point of view. It doesn't help even if communism is accepted and practised in Kerala. :(
you have obviously never been in an auto in chennai. Dont FUD aluva - my mom-in-law is from there ;-)
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