68 auto drivers, owners punished
Four mobile courts penalised 68 unruly drivers and owners of CNG-run autorickshaws in the city yesterday, as they did not comply with the new rate of fare.
The courts filed 68 cases, realised Tk 38,400 as fine, and ordered 15 defiant vehicles to the dumping ground, said Abul Bashar Md Fakruzzaman, revenue deputy collector of Dhaka.
“The CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers and owners are very unruly. They harass the general commuters at will and hardly care motor vehicle laws and government decisions."
The government raised the existing fare rate significantly for the CNG-run three-wheelers with effect from January 16. Most drivers, however, continued harassing the city commuters by charging extra fare, refusing to go to destinations, and running the vehicles without meters.
There have been widespread public allegations that many drivers have not yet calibrated (readjustment) their metres as per the government directive. Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) launched the drive across the capital on the very day the new rate came into effect.
Till January 24, BRTA realised Tk 2 lakh in all as fines slapped on 297 errant auto-rickshaw drivers. Eight of the auto-rickshaws were sent to dumping ground and 289 cases filed against the rest.
“The mobile court drives aim to force the defiant vehicle owners and drivers to comply with the revised fare rate,” said Tapan Kumar Sarkar, director (enforcement) of BRTA.
In the face of the action, the auto-rickshaw owners started to queue up at BRTA and got 10,700 meters sealed by the authority during January 19 and 24, said Sarkar.