Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nallavanukku Nallavan indha auto meter

On any day, if I take an auto from home to office, the near 8 k.m. journey would cost me 65 rupees on an average. In theory though, I would have required to pay only 7/- per k.m and should ideally be 56/-. But, coming to the world of autos, auto-drivers and auto-meters in Bangalore, things would be "normal" only when you are quite lucky.

The last 2 days had forced me to catch an auto during the terribly traffic-y peak morning hours. To my surprise, on both days(yesterday and today) I paid a miserly sum(it's the actual rate btw) of 53 and 54 rupees. Considering that I have hit 90 rupees on some occasions for the same distance on high-speed,super-speeding autoed-meters, this was a revelation!

The moment I get inside an auto in bangalore, I can't help but start staring at the meter. I roughly know when the meter should start ticking from the "minimum charge" of 14/-. The meter should starting inching up and above when I cross the Airtel showroom on 100Ft. Road, Indiranagar. Yesterday was quite a surprise. The meter remained still even at that point. I readied myself to tell the auto driver that the meter might not be working(Sometimes I am tooo generous!) I had reached the start of the Domlur flyover. That's when it happened. I saw the transition to 14.50/-. "Good god! This fellow should have the best, untinkered, untampered meter in the whole of bangalore.He is the best auto-fella."

What followed was an on-the-dot inspection of critical milestones at which I know what rate to expect. The flyover loop exit, Cambridge-Airport road Signal and two other "strategic" points. Sharp the meter was!It was always 2 or 3 rupees below the actual rate.

A cheating meter and the driver would definitely be greeted with a sulking countenance. I was wondering if this fellow should be congratulated for maintaining a "legal" meter and charging me the exact amount that I am supposed to give.
Getting down,I realized I am always ready to give a mouthful when someone cheats but should I commend this fellow just for doing his job right which is the minimum quality that I should expect from him?

I paid the exact amount with the change and walked...


Anonymous said...

An entire post on meter accuracy ?! :O Just try hinting to any auto driver in Chennai to go by the meter, and he ll look at you like u ve just dropped from Mars. Reminds me of something that happened when I was in hyd.
Me : Secunderabad station.
Auto Guy : haan chaliye...
M : rate batayiye aap pehle...
A : chaliye madam.. pahunch ke dekhte hain
M(not at all prepared to let the auto guy get the better of me):nahin nahin .. aap wahaan jaake jagda mat kariye .. pehle bata deejiye rate !
A(exasperated) : kya problem hai madam .. meter pe nahin aayenge kya !
M(In sheer disbelief): METER lagaayenge ? :O :O
A(convinced that this is the first time I was setting my eyes on an auto): ...
I got in, feeling triumphant and grateful at the same time. It s almost a privilege to a Chennai-ite to be offered to be taken on a metered auto !:D

Manojh said...

One of the very few good things about Bangalore is the metered-auto.
Then again, you get cheated left and right even with it. The variance from the normal rate is sometimes way too high and that's when the blood boils.

In Chennai, even as I get into an auto, it's like I know my money will go down the drain. I just think - I know I am definitely getting cheated. It's just a question of how much :D .The element of yemathification is predictable here because you would have enquired before you board- "autokaaran evalo keppaan?".

In Bangalore, with a tampered meter, it's tough to argue if the meter shows higher than the normal. Afterall, it's a meter and is authorised!