Views & Reviews
Open letter and appeal to
Deputy Commissioner Dimapur Superintendent of Police, Dimapur Regional Transport Authority
Naga Council, Nagas Women Hoho Dimapur Dimapur Naga Students’ Union.
Subject: Need for stringent measures against auto rickshaws / taxis / buses in Dimapur
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s a concerned citizen of Dimapur town who does not own a vehicle but has been depending on our notorious auto rickshaws services in the town, I on behalf of all suffering commuters, would like to place before you this humble appeal in the interest of the Dimapur community, especially for the lower-middle class citizens.
For many years, the auto rickshaws of Dimapur have been arbitrarily engaging in illegal pricing, and as any citizen who has even used an auto rickshaw would testify, they are not honest business. They have been undermining the very meaning of public services for many years.Many administrative officials have come and gone in Dimapur but for various reasons all of them have shown only slight interest in our welfare. One of the most glaring examples of this neglect is the way the administration continues to ignore the plight of people who use public transport to move around.
Sire, we mean no offence but government officials and all authorities move and travel in private vehicles and therefore you are not acquainted with our problems. I have been using autos and taxis and buses since I was born. I know how much the prices of fuel have increased and how many times they have reduced. I know the rates of auto rickshaws both legal fares and the illegal fares the auto rickshaws demand. I also know what reasons, excuses and pretexts auto rickshaw drivers give so they can make more money from poor passengers (especially senior citizens and young people and school students).
Most of the auto rickshaws are untrustworthy and dishonest. All they care for is to make more money. This daylight robbery has been going on for many years unchecked. It is true that during the time of the then DC Hekali Zhimomi and later DC Maongwati some slight changes were brought in. However, those changes in the auto fares were mostly in favor of these greedy auto rickshaws.
Now that your esteemed establishment has issued new rates of fares, citizens in Dimapur are rejoicing and we pray that you would continue to feel the grievances of the common people.
Sire, however, there are a few more things needed to be done just more than issuing orders. We appeal to you to enforce the fares so that this time the dishonest service providers would cheat the public like they always used to. There are some points we request you to reflect on and take immediate action:
• When was the only time these auto rickshaws even complied with ANY order that the district administration issued? Even after the new fares were released by the DC office some days ago, many auto rickshaws (especially Naga drivers!) are still defiantly demanding their own fares or refusing to comply even after being told that the government has already fixed new rates.
• We have never even once ever heard of these roguish elements in guise of auto rickshaws listening or complying with any order of public interest regulations. When have they ever adhered to new fares? When have they listened to regulations asking them to use meters? When have they even listened to the order about wearing uniforms? They are one of the most disobedient and antisocial individuals in the society today. We appeal to you to strongly suppress these elements so that the passengers and common people no longer suffer.
• Auto rickshaws claim that they cannot ear more because fuel prices have increased and they cannot earn. What? Do we have to pay even for their children’s fees and buy them all the luxuries they want in life just because they run a business that should be making them any amount of money?
• Auto rickshaws claim that due to high fuel prices they hardly earn a few hundred ruppes a day. They are all liars! Please educate them to read newspapers and watch productive and informative TV programs and socialize with knowledgeable people so that they learn that fuel prices have been reduced not once, twice or thrice but many times since the last price hike around 2013! It is not only in Dimapur of India – prices of petroleum products, patrol and diesel are dropping drastically all over the world from the US, UK, India to the Gulf countries!
• The claim of the auto rickshaws blaming on price hike is shameful to say the least. The decrease in their earnings is not because of oil price hike but because THERE ARE TOO MANY AUTO RICKSHAWS IN DIMAPUR! There are also too many casual / unregistered / unregulated rickshaws in the town who have made the competition for income between them even harder! Not because of fuel price hike!
Dear leaders of our society and esteemed administrators of Dimapur, we need to check these elements. However, the question here is to be fair to all too. It is not only the auto rickshaws – there are the fares for public bus transports and local taxis. They are no less antisocial. Regional taxis, private buses and auto rickshaws are al, the same – parasites that suck on the hard earned income of lower middle class people like us by exploiting the weakness / apathy of the administration, transport authorities and the police.
We have only one sentence to say to you, sir: Please implement and ENFORCE the auto fares as well as regulate the fares and charges of buses and taxis as well. This will impact the cost of living and prices of essential commodities sin Dimapur drastically. Above all, this will help and promote the welfare of the common people of Dimapur.
If the trend continues, a day is coming when the public will employ violence and run amok against these so-called service providers.
God bless you and may he give you courage and wisdom!
Meranglong Nokdir& Y Mharemo Khuvung
Concerned citizens, Dimapur